Assess the view that roles and relations among couples are becoming more equal (24 Marks)
Numerous sociologists have suggested that a large number of relationships are now becoming more symmetrical in compare to the traditional families looking back 40, 100, 200 years ago. They say that the traditional male and female roles are no longer as they were before, it has all fallen apart, and hence relationships have been becoming more equal.
Some sociologists such as Wilmot and Young argue that in symmetrical families, normal domestic duties are most likely to be shared by both parties and they are both very likely to be working. Thus it all undoes the tradition of the past in which a woman would care for the children and the home, and the man being the ‘breadwinner’ would head out and work. Some sociologists also argue that the decision making is no longer only within the man’s hand as it once was, but also in the woman’s hands, the symmetrical family has an equal partnership in decision making. All this evidence leads some sociologists to view the roles and relations of couples to have been becoming somewhat more equal in compare to the past.
On the other hand, some sociologists such as Morgan(1996) argue that women now take part in an act known as the ‘Triple Shift’, this is when women go out and work, but then also do domestic work when at home and give emotional support to partner and children. As a result, many feminists would argue that the roles and relations of couples are not equal, but actually unfair, the woman is doing so much more than her partner. This views result in some sociologist believing that roles and relations have changed in compare to the past, but in a path towards the woman doing more work than the man, making her the ‘breadwinner’.
In conclusion, many sociologists believe that the roles and relations of couples have been becoming more equal, but there are some who still view it to not being equal at all, and some even...