Conjugal roles

Conjugal roles

Some Sociologists argue that from the nuclear family, joint conjugal roles have developed.

Bott (1957)

Bott identified two types of ways which household jobs can be shared.

Segregated Roles- Husband and wives lead seperate lives and have distinct roles

Joint roles- Husband and wife are now more flexable and share tasks

Bott made a link between a couples network connections with friends and the domestic division at home.

Loose friendship networks à Joint Conjugal Roles

Close knit friendship networks à Segregated Roles

Willmott and Young (1971)

Willmott and Young saw how the increase in the nuclear family would lead to joint conjugal roles being developed.

Willmott and Young made a prediction that equal and shared responsibilities would be the norm for British families in the future.

Willmott and Young claimed that households having joint conjugal roles was a result from stage two moving to stage three.

W&Y claimed that although the wife still continues to have primary responsibility, 72% of husbands get involved with housework tasks other than washing up.

Oakley (1974)

Oakley argues that men only have to do a few tasks around the house to qualify as having joint roles.

Oakley’s research found that it was rare for men to do a lot of housework.  She also saw how 10 minutes washing up for a man was the equivalent to an hour of hoovering for a woman.

All of the above was a critique of Willmott and Young’s study!


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