• 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

Why is there unequal division of household labour in most of the society?

Extracts from this document...


The BA (Hons) Art and Design in Education SD377 Current Issues in Art & Design Education Lecturer: Verdy Leung Essay topic: Why is there unequal division of household labour in most of the society? By Ho Shun Shing 03848738t In this article, we address the division of household labour by examining its general situation and exploring different approaches used by different sociologist to account for it. The five approaches are namely exchange theory, resource theory, Marxist feminist theory, radical feminist theory and social construction theory will be discussed. With the evidence of previous researches, the situation of division of household labour is explored and evaluated in terms of its degree of gender inequality as manifested. In the second part, the situation is being accounted by those five approaches so as to determine whether the situation can be altered. Household labour can be defined in a variety of ways, however, in this article, we acquire those employed by Shelton (1996), that is defined as unpaid work done to maintain family member and/ or a home, which, emotion work and other "invisible" types of work are typically excluded. Meanwhile, it is a job described as monotonous, fragmented, with low status not being treated as a "real" work, bring no financial remuneration, isolated with inherent time limits, and often received no recognition Oakley (Morris 1990:81). Since mid 1960s, researches on comparing the division of household labour between men and women has been mounting, it is not only due to the great impact of household labour on the family life of contemporary married couple, but also due to its implication of gender equality in the society to certain extend. ...read more.


In other words, the man has strength in the labour market and the women have time. Nonetheless, this approach have not addressed why men has more strength in the work field with higher educational attainment, higher earning and higher occupational prestige. According to above two approaches, division of household labour should be more equally shared with recent growth of married women's employment as well as the release of many men from the rigours the occupational system by unemployment, when, women are provided with chances to gain more resources and independence. Young and Willmott (1973; Quoted from Morris, 1990) proposed that the middle classes were at the forefront of a move towards symmetricality in marriage in which the role of husband and wife will become more identical. Wong stand in the same line with Young and Willmott stated that industrialization has substantially increased employment opportunities for women and as a result, has significantly advanced their position within the family. He observed that the wife's paid employment has contributed to much greater equality between spouses, in sharing of household duties and in decision-making (Leung, 1996). However, hitherto tasks of wage and earning and domestic labour are still largely segregated. Many researches can only give little evidence of male unemployment leading to major responsibility for domestic work, nor even to their taking an equal share. It is because most of the researches which asserted male have participated more in domestic labour are actually based on proportional sense but not absolute sense (Morris, 1990; Chu, 1997). ...read more.


Therefore, we can speculated that in order to breakthrough the long-drawn practice of unequal division of household labour, women should firstly be conscious that equal share of domestic household with men is a right that is reasonable for them to pursue and secondly she has to undergo the struggle induced from the rooted cultural predisposition on the role as being a women, that is a mother and a wife. Otherwise, the spiral effect caused by capitalism, patriarchy and social construction will resist the division of household labour to change. (2392 words) Reference Abbott, P. & Wallace, C. 1996, (2nd ed.) The family and household. An Introduction to Sociology: feminist perspectives: 137-159. London: Routledge. Abbott, P. & Wallace, C. 1997, (2nd ed.) Women's work. An Introduction to Sociology: feminist perspectives: 193-225. London: Routledge. Andersen, M. 1997(4th ed.) Women and families. Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on sex and gender:145-161. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Chu, Wai-chi 1997, "Who is doing what?" The implication behind housework sharing" in Indicators of social development: Hong Kong 1995. Research Monograph no. 33. Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK. Leung. B. 1996, The family and society, Perspective on Hong Kong Society, p. 75-91, Oxford university Press. Morris, L. 1990, The division of Domestic Labour. The Working of The Household Pp. 80-102., Cambrigdge: Political Press. Pearson, V. 1990, Women in Hong Kong Pp. 115-131 in Leung, B.K.P. Social Issues in Hong Kong. Oxford University Press. N.Y. Shelton, B.A & John, D. 1996, The division of household labor. Annual Review of Sociology.22:299-322. 4 ...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. Gender oppression and how this manifests in education and society.

    They may feel the need to take on the role as a carer rather than pursue a career. This may lead to the girls not having any interest and in having little incentive towards achieving high grades in school. In 1976 in London a study was carried out by Sue Sharp.

  2. A-Level Sociology Theory + Methods Revision.

    of soc reality which may have little to do with the actual social world they are trying to describe + explain. Case Studies CS = detailed explanations of a particular community, social group, person or situation in society. Method of study may be the examination of existing records or unstructured interviewing.

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe four studies relating to gender each ...

    Thus appearing to the children as asexual and to the adult male as desirable. Too much in either direction could result in a non-balanced family - disrupting the functional nature of such. The female is therefore an expression of the instrumental male, working intrinsically together, both equally important in their clearly defined roles.

  2. Look at domestic labour within the family and any possible changes of domestic labour ...

    Aims 1) To research the area of the family. 2) To look at domestic labour within the family and any possible changes of domestic labour in the household. 3) To see if women still do the majority of the domestic labour in a household.

  1. Conjugal roles within the modern household

    In 1980 Hunt carried out a study which found husbands of both waged and unwaged wives only helped on a spasmodic basis, which gives women a double shift. His study also found that men were more likely to take an active role if the wife had a paid job.

  2. The development of Spartan society.

    the older men too showed even more interest.'22 The chief reason for the relationship was for a boy to have a 'father, tutor and commander'23 as his mentor. This 'mentor' would be approved if 'out of admiration for a boy's personality a man of the right character himself should seek

  1. The changing status of women in employment

    5 % were Pakistani, 5 % were Caribbean, 5 % were Indian and 5 % were African. This graph shows that 41% of respondents put family as their top priority. In contrast only 18% put children, 18% also put their career as their main prority in life.

  2. Outline and evaluate the arguments for and against the idea that there is a ...

    childcare and couples now spend their leisure time together instead of separately with workmates or female relatives. In their studies to support this view, they found that the symmetrical family was more common amongst younger couples, those who were geographically and socially isolated.

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