Reasons for Inequality & Domestic Power

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  • Reasons for Inequality & Domestic Power
    • Biology (functionalists view)
      • Parsons argued women are naturally suited to caring children as they physically bear them
      • Murdock said it is the greater physical strength of the male as to why they're able to dominate economic life
    • Familial & Patriarchal ideology
      • this is the dominant idea that there is an ideal way to organise family life, for inequalities in power in the home
      • Bernardes (1999) argues it's patriarchal as masculinity & fatherhood are mostly associated with paid work & avoiding  domestic labour and childcare
      • shapes cultural expectations about femininity, motherhood and home making are associated
      • beliefs about male & female roles have discouraged men from helping/taking responsibility for 'women's work'
    • The Ideology of motherhood & fatherhood
      • believed  there is an ideology in society regarding what motherhood & fatherhood involves
      • 26% of the British population still believe most women should prioritise their caring role over having a job
      • women expected to take on jobs  compatible with family commitments
      • large numbers of mothers feel guilty about working full time
      • fatherhood often associated with family provider, head of the house, unemotional, disciplinary
    • Gender Socialisation of children
      • socialisation of children is shaped by familial ideology so when grown up they're more likely to conform to traditional gender role ideas
      • Van Egmond (2010) argues gender identity of children is in place by 8 years, they then have clear idea which jobs belong to which sex
      • due to the repetition of these roles, they become the child's norm so are likely to follow the pattern when older
    • Relative Resources Theory
      • argues the main cause of inequality in the family is economic
      • men have economic advantage over women, having access to greater range of jobs greater job security, careers aren't interrupted by birth and higher pay
      • gives men superior power in home, choosing to dominate decision making


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