Assess the view that the family is patriarchal.

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  Patriarchy, a form of social organisation in which the male (father) has the most authority in the family, the family/society is male dominated.


Equality is the state of being equal in status, rights and opportunities. Within relationships equality has changed over many years. Roles and opportunities have changed as a result of social factors and movements such as feminism and change in cohabitation and same sex marriages. In relationships domestic housework, opinions, childcare and career opportunities have all been affected by equality.

  In 1973 the ‘march of progress’ introduced the symmetrical family, the equal division between both male and females within a household meaning domestic chores and childcare were fairly divided. Young and Willmott believed that things where gradually improving between men and women as women could go out to work and men would help with housework/childcare. They saw this as the ‘new man’. As a result of these social changes there was a rise in symmetrical families, women could now pursue in a career, geographical mobility and the progression in technology also meant that there were better standards of living.

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  However radical feminist Anne Oakley believed that the unpaid role of the housewife was socially constructed around the time of the Industrial Revolution. With the change from the Domestic to the Factory system men stopped working at home and started leaving home everyday to work in factories. A new role of "housewife" was socially constructed for married women and became part of their culture. Domestic work became to be seen falsely as naturally women's work. Women had been excluded from the workforce and confined to home where they was responsible for housework and childcare whereas men were the breadwinners and would provide for the family. Oakly criticises ...

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