Conjugal Roles

Topics: Family, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Wife Pages: 2 (960 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Vicky AdamsE) Using material from item B and elsewhere asses the view that it no longer makes sense to talk about the patriarchal family. In the 19th century families were considered to be patriarchal. Patriarchy is a male dominated household/society. However in today’s society, some sociologist’s would argue that this is no longer true, but other sociologist’s state the patriarchal family still exists. Item B states that the husband ‘was often the sole breadwinner’ however this is now not the case. With laws such as the equal pay act, women are earning just as much as men, if not more. This makes the women equal earners, or the breadwinner of the family. With more women being able to earn for themselves, this gives them more power within the household regards to making important decisions etc. This gives women less need to rely on men to provide for them, resulting in equal households or matriarchal households. To say that the patriarchal family does not exist, Willmott and Young (1973) used a questionnaire to ask almost 2000 people about their domestic roles. They found that men are helping women more and therefore concluded that the family is becoming more equal. However, their research shows that men only do 10 domestic hours a week, while full time working females do over 23 hours of domestic work a week. This does not show that the family is equal; the family is still patriarchal, as men sit back and let women do most of the work. To go against Willmott and Young’s claims, Oakley(1974) stated that married men claiming to help their partners at least once a week exaggerated the degree of symmetry as ‘help’ could mean anything from 10 minutes washing up to a full day of domestic work. Thus, showing that women still do the majority of domestic work, proving that the family is still patriarchal. In other cultures, the patriarchal family still exists. In poorer countries, males are more likely to get the most from the already limited resources, males are...
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