Gender Roles in Society

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Woman Pages: 3 (1047 words) Published: March 5, 2013
Asses the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern family life

Gender roles in modern family life have undergone colossal changes throughout the last 55 years or so; rights for women, divorce laws, and many other changes in the law that are constantly shifting the female position from homemaker to breadwinner. There are many things that are starting to balance these conjugal roles between men and women, but there are some people, such as radical feminists that still believe that woman are under constant oppression throughout all aspects of society, and there are those, such as liberal feminists that understand there have been changes within the law and society that are having a good impact of women.

Elizabeth Bott has recognised that there are two apparent conjugal roles within a marriage or relationship. The joint and segregated conjugal roles. The segregated conjugal role is where the stereotypical male breadwinner is the one that goes out to work and comes home and does the more ‘masculine’ jobs such as lighting a fire, and then there is the female homemaker who tends to do the housework, wash the dishes, feed the family and clean the house. These two roles have also been recognised by the sociologist Talcott Parsons who has named the ‘instrumental’ and ‘expressive’ roles. The joint conjugal role is where the couple share the tasks that need to be fulfilled such as housework and childcare and they also spend their leisure time together. In today’s modern family the male is now doing more tasks at home that would have stereotypically been the role of the woman in the past. This slight shift of roles from breadwinner to slight homemaker has taken place possibly due to a couple of things. The commercialisation of housework has made it a lot easier to fulfil the tasks within the household with incredible ease. An example of this would be the dishwasher, where you simple load the dishes into the machine...
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