Changes in Family Roles

Authors Avatar


Content Page

Page 1 – Title Page

Page 2 – Content Page

Page 3 to 4 – Chapter one Introduction

Page 4 to 5 – Chapter two Methodology

Page 5-ds – Chapter three Content and Analysis

Page 5 to 6 – Chapter three Content

Page 6 to 11 – Chapter three Analysis

Page 11 to 13– Chapter four Conclusion

Page 13 to  – Chapter four Evaluation

Page asldk – Chapter five Appendix

Chapter one Introduction

    In this coursework I will be looking at how roles within the family have changed and the effect this has had on family members as well as the society and values of the family in post modern society. The family is very important institution in our society and therefore its changes must have affected it.  

    Having done some work on the family already, I have found that there are a lot of factors that could have changed the traditional institution of the family. Roles taken on by each individual of the family could be one of them.

     My aims for this project include: Firstly, indentifying the traditional ideas of men and women within in the family and weather they have changed. Secondarily, I will consider the extended family and their role within the family. Thirdly, I will investigate how and why women’s roles within the family have changed. Finally, I will explore what impact has the changes in family roles had on the structure of the family.

    The reason this area is of sociological importance, and these are suitable aims because it is important to identify the roles of the main members of the family in order to see how they have changed. Also, it is important to study these changes to see how they have impacted on members of the family and the society. Additionally, it is important because from investigating these changes we can see whether they are breaking the family structure or weather it is better for the society.

   The New Right, like Valerie Riches, believes that changes within the family are breaking the family and therefore do not think these changes should be taking place. They blame the deviations from the traditional family, for many families breaking down in our day and age.  They also believe that the traditional family was crucial in establishing stability in society.

    Moreover, the area I chose to study is of sociological importance because the family plays a big part in society. Mrs Thatcher and the functionalist’s believe that the family is the corner stone of society which goes to say that it is fundamental.

    To carry out my project, I researched past sociologists who have done some work on the family, and I found that Jacqueline Scott has done some research on family roles and the female role in particular so any of her views will help shape my conclusion. However, her views may be biased in some ways. Talcott Parsons and George Peter Murdock have also studied this area, looking at the functions of the family. In contrast to their work, Christine Delphy and Diana Leonard have studied the Feminist perspective on the family and roles relating to gender roles. Ann Oakley studied the way gender affected labour and roles. Their findings may be biased to the feminine side but gives a clear insight on the roles from a woman’s point of view. Also, I used the works of Young and Willmort and their functionalist view on the way the family roles have changed over the years.

Chapter two Methodology

   In order to carry out my investigation into the changes of roles within the family, I will use a variety of sources. These include secondary sources as well as primary sources. My primary sources consist of interviews and questionnaires. The secondary sources contain information from academic books and internet resources.

    Using the primary sources, the interview and the questionnaire, I will be able to obtain a lot of information on the topic which will help me draw a better conclusion. Primary sources are sources collected by myself; they only exist because I have collected the information. Primary sources are usually surveys or observations. I chose to do the surveys as I found them easier and less time consuming. Observations are however very good as they provide a much deeper insight in the area studied. Despite this, I chose the surveying method; the observation allows only a small group to be studied which will make it very difficult to come to a fair generalised conclusion. I therefore chose the interview method which I felt was less time consuming, but at the same time still informative enough for my research to be successful. I used an unstructured interview, which means the questions of the interview were not pre coded. This means the questions allowed the respondents to freely express themselves and I will be able to trigger discussion or ask new questions. A problem with an interview is that, the way I, as an interviewer, behave and ask the questions I am interested in may influence the respondent’s opinions or answers. This will occur in the results being inaccurate, I will therefore take this into account when analysing my data. In addition, an interview is very time consuming and only allows a small number of the population to be surveyed, this means that a generalisation cannot be made accurately. Also, another disadvantage of an interview is the fact that the interviewer can never be sure of whether or not the respondent is answering honestly, saying what he or she truly believes or the way they really do behave in society. In my case, many women may be embarrassed to say that they are the ones doing all the work around the house because this is no longer a common thing in Britain today. Despite all these disadvantages however, there are many advantages to an interview. An interview will allow me to get as much information as I need for my investigation on the roles on the family, where as with any other type of survey, such as a questionnaire, the information I would have received would have been limited. The best thing about an interview is that if the respondent cannot understand the question, you can reword it for them or comfortably explaining what the question is asking.

   Therefore, in order to collect all the information I want I will be using interviews as my primary data. The way I will go about this is, I will list down what I want to find out in relation to my aims, and structure some questions that I definitely want to ask. Afterwards, in the interview if any other questions arise I will make sure I get them answered. I will interview three people from three different generations and the reason I will do this is because I will be using comparative sociology. Comparative sociology is sociology research whereby two or more things are being compared. I chose to do this because I felt it was very good especially for my first role to identify whether the roles within the family changed. The reason this was good was because I could ask the three different respondents what their individual role in the house is, I would then compare their answer and see whether it has changed or not.

    For my secondary data, I will mainly use two books, one of which is called “Sociology Themes and Perspective” by Haralambos and Holborn and “An Introduction to Sociology” by Ken Brown. In these books, I will study the family sections and pick out anything that relates to my aims for this investigation. I will at the Functionalist view on the family and the changes it has gone through as well as feminists view and such. Secondary data is very easily obtained and is not time consuming as well. Secondary data means data that has already been collected, unlike primary data, I as the researcher, did not collect the original data myself. Secondary data is very useful because most of it is done by sociologists and therefore it can be reliable, however, sometimes the data may be outdated which may cause alterations in my final conclusion. Also, the data collected may not be fully representative, for example, for my topic, a research may be done to find out how many women work. If this research is carried out in only one specific area, the results will not be representative of the whole population and therefore when looking at secondary data, care must be taken for things like where and when the data was collected.

Join now!

Chapter Three Content and Analysis


     In relation to my first and third aims, “indentifying the traditional ideals of men and women within in the family and weather they have changed” and “I will investigate how and why women’s roles within the family have changed”, I interviewed different people of different generations in order to compare the results and indentify if there are any changes. This is called comparative sociology; comparative sociology involves comparisons of different things. In this case it will involve comparisons of three different generation’s views on the changes within the family. The comparative method ...

This is a preview of the whole essay