Society Decides What is Normal Today’s society challenges gender behavior in many aspects. Years ago the stereotypical ‘norm’ was the male to provide for his family, and the female was to stay home and take care of the children and the home. The twentieth century was favored more toward the male verses female. Today in the twenty-first century males and females are becoming more equal. Males and females both have changed roles from the workplace to home.
A nuclear family typically involves a couple and their dependant children, but in reality, family’s come in all shapes and sizes. How can the world adapt to definitions and norms when every family or home has their own unique ways that make them a “family”? Interestingly enough, it is not only the people that make up our family, but our roles and expectations as well. With time, society continuously creates new definitions and expectations for one another, and we are all expected to comply with modern day terms. Throughout this essay, we will discuss gender roles and expectations of each family member (based on their label), how gender roles have evolved throughout history to what they are today and how society is adapting to these changes.
Young and Wilmott argue that joint conjugal roles are becoming more common since families are becoming more 'home-centred'. A more symmetrical pattern is appearing between husband and wife. Elizabeth Bott also agrees that there are joint conjugal roles in the family as more partners share responsibilities, decision making and leisure activities. However she also believes that some partners segregate their conjugal roles, but these are couples with largely separate social lives. Many sociologists believe that the role of the father is changing.
However, in recent years, there have been important moves towards equality, such as laws against sex discrimination and many more women going out to work. There is also the interest in how far there have been similar changes in the family. For example, do men do their fair share of the housework and childcare and do both spouses have an equal say in decision making? This is what I am going to evaluate. To begin with, the domestic division of labour refers to the roles that men and women play in relation to housework, childcare and paid work.
Both clinging too and attempting to break from these roles can have significant effects on one’s family experience. For the past two centuries at least, the tasks of child rearing and caregiving have been assigned primarily, though not exclusively to women (Hansen 6). Arlie Hochschild presents the idea of a gender strategy as “a plan of action through which a person tries to solve problems at hand, given the cultural notions of gender at play” (7). This is something that is necessary for “not-so-nuclear” families in order to function and get by. Women are “located at the structural nexus of domestic work, child rearing, and paid labor, they nonetheless exercise some discretion about how they act on and interpret their situations” (7).
To people around me and myself, marriage is one of the biggest life-concerning matters on the journey of adulthood. Especially in my culture, I am expected to marry at a young age. Gender stereotype also comes in place in marriage. Woman are expected to get married at a younger age compared to men because most men want to get married after they become financially stable so they have the ability to support the family. In my culture, men take care of most of the financial needs of a family where women are expected to become family wives and take care of anything within the family.
The idea is that the individuals are consumed with society norms and regulations to notice that their actions are gendered. As explained before, when a couple engages in marriage and then children, the roles at home become “more conventional gender-based” in terms of family and work (Coltrane, 2010, p. 121). The father works more hours and the mother attends to family care. It is important to invest in constructing a family that is ungendered or less gendered. This may difficult given the social norm and the external factors that may leak into the family household; however, it is vital for parents and children to make family decision without considering the gender norm.
The roles women typically play in the family may not always be consistent with success in the occupational arena. Staying home to care for a sick child may conflict with an important meeting (Broman 1991:511). Sometimes there has to be a change of plans when it comes to the family. Most people believe that family comes first no matter what. Men 's engagement in paid work fulfills prescriptions of hegemonic masculinity by facilitating their ability to gain status in the public sphere.
Gender role is a set of expectations set forth by society about the ways in which men and women are “supposed” to behave based on their gender. In the Era of which we live, the expectations are closer than ever to being distinct. Many people of my generation, and younger, may not completely understand this question, due to the fact that it is almost the norm to see single parent homes and to have both parents working full time. The stay at home mother is almost a thing of the past. In some situations the “gender role” has been completely switched, with the father being the stay at home parent.
Societies have always had traditional ways of life, such as, gender roles, celebrations, religions, educations, etc. Gender roles vary in different countries all around the world from relative status, labor, marriage, inheritance and socialization such as education and child care. As the years go by traditions begin to change, and people alter their ways of life. A wide variety of things are now more accepted in today’s time. Traditionally in the United States women are the nurtures and men are the money makers.