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I intend to investigate the concept of the 'double shift' of labour as experienced by women.

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Introduction

Hypothesis / Aim I intend to investigate the concept of the 'double shift' of labour as experienced by women. Despite increasing female participation in the labour market most research points out that the responsibility for housework and childcare still lies with women. This has inspired me for further investigation. Secondly, most sociologists' studies deal with time spent on domestic labour and types of tasks performed by gender. The idea of '2' jobs carried out by women has a slightly different emphasis, which I am interested in investigating 84 words Context/ Concepts An Official report, Social Focus on Men and Women, (1998) found that the traditional distinction between the man's role as 'breadwinner' and the woman's role as 'homemaker' is becoming less clear cut in the terms of women role at work. This represents a dramatic change in recent years. Despite this, they found that while the 'New Woman' is apparently prepared to share the burden in terms of earning income this does not appear to be matched by the 'New Mans' willingness to share the burden of domestic life. At home the traditional division of domestic labour between men and women has not changed much to adjust to the new situation, for example, the report notes women 'always or usually' do the washing or ironing in the majority of couples (bar 2% of couples). ...read more.

Middle

cooking, cleaning and childcare). Double Shift - dual role of women in terms of their contribution to the family through paid employment as well as contribution in terms of domestic labour and childcare. 429 words Proposed Method and Reasons for Method I intend to use questionnaires, which will consist of a list of preset questions being given to the respondent in the same order so that any real differences between respondents can be seen, in this case in the participation of gender groups in domestic labour. Questionnaires are very useful for a number of reasons. My questions will be fixed choice so that the response can be more easily classified and quantified and correlations can be more easily seen between different genders in terms of economic activity and real participation in domestic labour and childcare - it will also allow concepts to be operationalised easily. It's an efficient and cheap method of research. This was used by Smith and Ferri, to investigate this whole area, and will allow me to compare my findings with theirs. Large quantities of data can be easily collected from a considerable amount of people over a relatively short period of time and it will require relatively little personal involvement. ...read more.

Conclusion

Those being studied are not allowed to reveal how they see social reality. The unwillingness or inability of respondents to give full replies may reduce validity of the data. They may lie and stated attitudes may not reflect real behaviour. Other studies in this area, such as that of Pleck, show that men overestimate the actual time spent on childcare and domestic tasks. Additionally, I will be unable to observe interaction, which would be useful when investigating the concept of women's 'double shift'. Some previous sociologists have found that quantitative studies tend to reveal contradictions between the domestic division of labour and perceptions of equality. Respondents often report satisfaction with what appears a very unequal division of labour while qualitative studies tend to uncover more critical attitudes. In addition, domestic work often involves the simultaneous performance of several tasks, which can make time-use estimates difficult to quantify. Women also tend to under-estimate time they spend on domestic tasks, particularly when simultaneously carrying out childcare while men tend to overestimate. Indeed, childcare can often become 'invisible'. Conversely, men tend to define any time spent with children as childcare, as Pleck found. There is also the question of whether carrying out research concerning the private area of the home is ethically acceptable or correct as it imposes on peoples private lives. Confidentiality must be assured. 335 words Candidate Number :7288 Centre Number :71526 ...read more.

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