• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11

Rationale - I have decided to study the gender-oriented issue of conjugal roles in the family.

Extracts from this document...


Rationale. I have decided to study the gender-oriented issue of conjugal roles in the family. This area of sociological interest came about when we looked at family life and the symmetrical family. Another reason for my interest in this is it is still an issue despite all the changes such as sex discrimination, and even though feminists have raised the issue it seems that there is still not equality in the allocation of domestic tasks between husband and wife. The Lancaster Regionalism Group found an increase in men's participation but not in the unpopular chores, while Alan Warde suggests that the nature of household tasks varied between couples. From this evidence I derived my hypothesis "Men do help around the home but do not make an equal contribution". Primary research will be used and will take the form of a diary. For my variables my sample size will be ten married / cohabiting couples. Both male and female will be in full time employment aged between 30 to 40, as I have access to these respondents. They will be chosen using a snowballing method. A quantitative method will be used to measure the time spent on tasks around the home, and the nature of tasks performed. CONTEXT. The issue of the domestic division of labour was raised by feminists like Ann Oakley in her study "The sociology of Housework" in which she argued that housework should be taken seriously as a type of "work". Other feminists have developed this theme and looked at ways in which women experience inequality in the home. My first source is drawn from the Lancaster Regionalism Group's investigation into the household division of labour in Northwest England in 1988. This concept "domestic division of labour" is crucial because it relates to my aim. The "domestic division of labour" describes the way in which household tasks are allocated in the home. ...read more.


From my diary I can estimate women spend an average of fifty hours a week on housework which is far more than most people spend in paid employment. Men seemed to be doing less than this amount of domestic work compared to their wives, in some days doing less than half what they consider to be housework or related tasks. I have found from my diaries that housework is still seen as the main responsibility of women even though both partners are working in full time paid employment. It is still women who take on the main responsibility for housework from all the ten couples who took part in my experiment. My findings show that women still have an unequal role with men in the homestead. Much of this inequality arises because the central role of women is still seen by a male dominated society as that of housewife and mother. For instance a similarity I found in my study was that nearly all the female respondents who took part carried out similar tasks over one week such as cleaning the toilet, cooking and hovering etc. Whereas the male respondents tasks where also similar for instance gardening and painting etc. This may suggest that many jobs are still seen as men's job and women's job. This compares with the Lancaster Regionalism Group's study. This study showed that 80%of women were responsible for general domestic duties such as cleaning the toilet and only 31% of men took full responsibility for work to be done in the homestead. This tells me about my aims that many full time working women have two jobs in comparison to the men's one job. My own findings reveal that although a wide range of jobs and opportunities are available to women the main role of a woman's life is expected to be that of housewife. Although out of the 10 couples who took part in my experiment only 2% shared the responsibility of housework equally. ...read more.


I found this to be the case in my research between couples. I do think my results are presented in the most effective way. As my chosen method was qualitative I was not able to produce any statistical data however my diaries were in columns with appropriate headings. To study this research further people could develop the idea of helping around the home by using Wilmot and young's assertion that the family is still symmetrical. Also people could research whether women actually want to be helped when it comes to household tasks even though feminists argue that the family is still an exploitative arrangement for women. CONCLUSION My hypothesis read... " Men do help around the home but do not make an equal contribution" I can conclude that my hypothesis was correct because I found from my diaries that women are still doing more than there fair share of domestic work compared to men. This is the case because the extensions of traditional domestic roles of housewives and mothers are still in which women continue to be socialised these include serving and waiting on people, catering for them and cleaning and clearing up after others. These are all jobs women traditionally did and still do in the home. Such jobs include primary school teaching, low-grade catering work, working as shop assistants, supermarket shop fillers, secretaries' etc. For example secretaries often serve their (usually male bosses), organise the office in the workplace to make things easier for them, making tea and coffee and clearing up after their meetings. Primary school involves childminding, catering involves cooking etc. Women have limited career opportunities than males for a number of different reasons. There is the gender stereotyping at school and the wider gender role socialisation process in the home and in the work place. This is similar to the article " Back to the future" by Madeleine Leonard who found that this gender role socialisation process in the home made women continue to see housework as an important part of being a "good wife and mother" and are satisfied with the unequal domestic division of labour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Peggy Orenstein's Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem and the Confidence Gap - review

    April, a young African American girl, is one of the girls Orenstein refers to in her book as 'unteachable' (175). April is very eager to learn. She frequently participates in class and makes several attempts to be heard. Unlike the quiet, embarrassed and silenced girls at Weston, April has an attitude which parallels that of Weston boys (180).

  2. Defining 18th Century Gender Roles

    Losing thus every spur, and having no other means of support, prostitution becomes her only refuge, and the character is quickly depraved by circumstances over which the poor wretch has little power, unless she possesses an uncommon portion of sense and loftiness of spirit (30)

  1. Conjugal roles within the modern household

    ?? third section The first question I asked was "what is your occupation"? This was not really relevant to the survey but it gave me an idea of the participants class, which may be useful later in the survey. I then asked the participants about who the main breadwinner was in the family.

  2. Gender Capital ? - Bourdieu and Gender Inequality

    The son is taught to drive and given a car, the daughter how to be a mother and given her mothers' wedding dress. Gendered Social Capital From nursery school onwards, children are more likely to seek company from those of the same gender as themselves; 'Children, from their earliest social

  1. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research.

    the particular research topic can understand the results through figures and use these figures to make a decision if needed. After discovering what is basically involved in the process of conducting qualitative research, many disadvantages automatically begin to surface. If a researcher is only working with one person, or even

  2. In what ways is the concept of gender useful in the study of ancient ...

    On the other hand, Athena also represented the female ethos, by emphasising the necessity of hard work and chastity through the tasks of spinning and weaving, which were given prestigious status', through the ritual of the 'peplos'. Athenian women were associated with passive tasks, illustrating their subordination to men within the 'polis'.

  1. The essay will interpret inequalities in health among the sub-populations of socio-economic class position, ...

    It is noted that the Irish form 30% of Glasgow's population. The Irish mortality rate is 26% higher than the average population for all causes, and they have 52% more cardiovascular disease. At the age of 58 Irish Catholics in Glasgow were more likely to be in manual households, receive

  2. This essay proposes to discuss different accounts of the welfare state by both mainstream ...

    Secretarial Occupations 24.9 28.0 26.8 8.6 Craft and Related Occupation 3.9 3.3 3.5 23.9 Personal and protective service occupations 20.5 18.5 19.3 6.2 Sales occupations 13.9 8.3 10.4 6.2 Plant and machine operations 4.2 2.4 3.1 14.1 Other occupations 6.3 8.9 7.9 8.2 Total numbers 114400 191400 305870 375400 Total percentages (37.4%)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work