Gender Functionalism Essay

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Functionalism: The Problem of Sexism and Gender Roles
Our society is faced with many social problems that have existed for ages. Sociology studies and investigates these issues and how they impact individuals within our society. Each of the three sociological theories has a different perspective on how the problem is viewed and dealt with. One of these pressing issues is sexism towards women and gender roles. Of the three sociological theories, functionalism has had a huge impact on gender studies.
Social Problem
In our society, gender roles are instigated at a very young age. Society develops a standard or a norm of what role a women or man should play (Griffiths et al., 2015). For example, young girls are taught to play with dolls and learn …show more content…

Some women would prefer to be barefoot and pregnant housewives that spend their days cooking and cleaning while their husband goes to work. However, other women embrace their right to pursue educational and occupational dreams. Unfortunately, because it has not been all that long ago that women were not considered to be qualified for a spot in most work places, they experience a lot of discrimination in the workplace. Because gender roles are almost deeply embedded in our society, women often do not get put up for the same job opportunities and promotions that their male equal might be subject …show more content…

During World War II, a lot of America women became Rosy the Riveter. When the war ended and the men returned home, they wanted to return to the traditional ways but many women did not want to give up their jobs and the supply of money they were making. This created a huge shift in the role of women in society that is still taking effect today (Griffiths et al., 2015). The traditional gender roles are still believed to work by some functionalists (Shepard, 1993). Famed sociologists Talcott Parsons and Robert Bales believed that “Families… require one adult in an ‘instrumental’ role and another adult in an ‘expressive’ role. The husband-father, who usually assumes the instrumental role, is responsible for family in the occupational, political, and economic situations. In preforming the expressive role, the wife-mother is concerned with maintaining relationships within the family, taking care of children, and providing emotional security for all family members”(pg. 300). Even though this may have worked at one time, many sociologists do not believe with Parsons and Bales; they think that modern society treats people not based on their role, but their abilities. Many sociologists believe that the functionalist perspective is outdated and only explains how gender roles came to be, not what they

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