PART I: This section of the book discussed neo-traditionalist divisions of labor and sharing solutions including ways in which different families are arranged. One family arrangement is the supermom and the neo-traditional dad. In this couple, the mother works full-time while taking on the second shift at home. Thus, these women struggle to manage their jobs and housework, spend more time multi-tasking with less leisure time, and often feel like they’re falling short in certain areas of life (as a mother, spouse, or employee). On the other hand, in this same arrangement the husbands are usually happy to help with the children and housework; however, they typically only help if they’re asked to do so, which may result in resentment from both
Attributes like unemployment is a major reason for this increase in stay at home fathers but some fathers willingly stay at home to take care of the children. This gives women the opportunity to work and possibly pursue the jobs that they want. Staying home allows more time that is dedicated to spending time with their children , but it could also mean that income could be significantly less than what it would be if both parents were working. Even outside of parenting there are social stigmas about what type of work men and women are more likely to have and jobs that people think that women are more suited for. What is deemed as a norm in society can have an effect on parenting roles too.
One journal starts off by stating that there has been an increase in single-parent households that are predominantly headed by the mother or other female figure. The father-figure shapes a child development, values, and overall well-being. This relationship is just as important as a mother’s. The bond provides a child with a strong role model who will provide discipline and who will also contribute to their physical well-being. There is a generalized social view that shows the fathers as lacking in attention in comparison to the mother who is seen as superior and the major caregiver to the child.
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).
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.
We are now seeing what sociologists call the senior-partner/junior-partner structure. Women and mothers are now opting for the choice to work and provide more economic resources for the family. This has changed those expected duties of both men and women in a family scene. A working mother more or less abandons the role of homemaker, to become a “breadwinning” mother, and the father stays his course with his work and provide for the family. Suzanne M. Bianchi in her book Changing Rhythms of American Family Life comments on the effect of mothers working and the time they spend in the home.
Young and Willmot (1973) support Talcott with their ‘March of Progress’ view and state that the household is increasingly becoming more equal in terms of labor divided equally. They state that families are taking one more symmetrical role where women go out to work and men help with housework and childcare. While not identical it can be seen that the roles have become and continue to become more similar. Ann Oakley( 1974) argues that this is not convincing evidence as men over emphasize their contribution to the household with only 15% having high level participation with housework and 25% helping with childcare. She states that men are happy to contribute to housework and childcare however they would only help with the more ‘pleasurable’ aspects.
“Men’s greater involvement at home is good for their relationships with their partner and also good for their children. Hands-on fathers make better parents than men who let their wives do all the nurturing and child care” (Coontz 99). Coontz believed that if men come home after work and share the chores with their wife, then they will have stronger bonds and the marriage will stay longer. Children’s are very observant, therefore they will learn valuable lessons from both of their parents. Carver showed how his father not being involved in the family has affected his relationship with his
Traditionally, mothers have been assigned to stay in the house to take care of children and perform daily household activities. However in recent years, men are becoming more involved in the house. Men are sharing more of the same responsibilities with women in terms of housekeeping and childrearing. Several fathers are choosing to stay in the house to take care of their children rather than working outside; either because of employment interruption or their wives are earning a higher salary than them. In a modern study, an increased number of working mothers as well as an increase in stay- at- home fathers were observed in Canada (Sutherland 2008).
Baxter and Western were two sociologists who claimed that there are segregated conjugal roles in the family, they studied why this is. They believe that women who see housework as part of being a good mother a quite happy to do it, this is known as the 'housewife experience' and is quite a plausible theory to support the reasons for so much inequality within marriage and the family. The theory then... ... middle of paper ... ...s doing the majority of domestic tasks. To add my personal view to the argument I would have to say that from looking at both sides I believe that there is still quite a gulf between the amount of domestic work that men do and the amount woman do. I do not believe that marriages are at this moment in time symmetrical, though I do not believe it is fair to rule out the chance of marriages becoming symmetrical in the near future.