How Scottish families have changed in the last 100 years

Satisfactory Essays
Perhaps the area that has changed the most for Scottish women in the last century is the family and the home. In the first half of the century the norm was for the woman of the house to "service" the male breadwinners within the home and family and to reproduce as their primary roles in life. This included many tasks including preparing meals for the whole family, looking after the family budget (It was usual for the husband to give his wife his pay packet at the end of the week and she would use it to pay the bills and buy the food.) as well as cleaning the house and the doing the whole family's washing, which all together usually equated to (or more than) full time work.
Women were put under heavy strain due to cultural expectations and norms. They were expected to be under their family's beck and call 24 hours a day and while husbands could escape household pressures such as screaming children, by going to the pub with their friends, women could never even dream of that kind of freedom.
Although their family was seen as a woman's main priority in life, many HAD to go out and work, often in factories or working as maids or cleaners (24% of employed women worked in the domestic service). They earned far less than men and were also expected to run the family home single handily. Although the 1911 Census of Scotland reported that only 1/20 of married women worked, the results were mainly linked to the middle class, not the poorer families where the woman was forced to work as their husbands wage wasn't enough to support the family. This was not uncommon, especially as in 1911, women who married between the ages of 22 – 26, had an average of 6 children (with 20% having 9 or more).
In the first half of the 20th century, Scottish families remained larger than those in England did. One of the theories behind this is that Scotland has a smaller middle class, (who on average, have less children per family) and a higher proportion of Roman Catholics, who do not believe in birth control.
Scottish homes were often very small with many children, and it was also common to find many "live-in" relatives in the home too. Conditions were cramped; in 1911, 50% of the population lived in 2 houses of only 1 or 2 rooms (bearing in mind that the average family size was at least 8).
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