This essay will look at how social policies and laws affect families in a positively or negatively. Some of the key concepts that will be touched upon will be how functionalist agree that social policies are positive due to the march of progress getting better due to laws in place. The essay will also look at how it negatively affects families, such as how feminist think social policies promote patriarchy in the family.
The Structural functional theory is focused on the gender roles of a family. The female is the homemaker
In “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady, the author argues that the roles of a wife are unfair and more demanding than a husband's, thereby they are treated as lesser than a man. Brady supports her claim by first, introducing herself as a wife, showing her empirical knowledge; secondly, cataloging the unreasonable expectations of a wife; finally ending the essay with an emotional and thought-provoking statement, “My God, who wouldn’t want a wife?” Brady’s purpose is to expose the inequality between the roles of a husband and of a wife in order to show that women do not belong to men and to persuade women to take action and stand up for themselves. Based on when this essay was written and since it is about the impossible expectations of a wife, Brady was writing to feminists in the 1960s in order to rally them to create a change in the way people thought.
‘The family performs important tasks that contribute to society’s basic needs and helps perpetuate social order.’ (Anthony Giddens 2006 - Page 238) Functionalists believe a family’s paramount purpose is to raise and support their children within society.
However, “all work makes an economic contribution, but the unpaid work activities related to the home have been marginalized in economic rendering of production” According to Riane Eisler (2007:16 as cited in Lindsey, 2011, pg. 277). Meaning that for human survival, and human development to be successful women’s work needs to be valued, while women are taking on the responsibilities of caregivers to others; as well as their own. In addition to the many task these women provide such as their contribution to their household chores, managing the household income, childbearing; and caring for the elderly; these jobs are all considered unpaid work to which these women will never receive any form of income for the work they provided. In the United States alone more than 40, 000 dollars annually would be paid out yearly, if these women were being paid for services rendered in those areas; such as cooking, cleaning, ironing, care givers; and financial advisor. Meaning, “at the global level, if the unpaid work of women were added to the world’s economy, it would expand by one-third, but on the positive side, the economic reality of women’s unpaid productive work is gaining public and government attention (Lindsey, 200. Pg.
In this essay I will explore the different schools of feminism such as Marxist, liberal and radical feminism, who share the view that women are oppressed in a patriarchal society but differ in opinion on who benefits from the inequalities. Each school of feminism has their own understanding of family roles and relationships which I will assess through this essay.
Women are known to be the nurturing part of human nature. It is women who birth and generally care for the young of human kind; however, the roles of women have progressed to be so much more in today’s society. Now women are looked to not only as a homemaker, but a breadwinner as well. In many families, the women provide a major source of income and are responsible for the wellbeing of the family. “More than a quarter century has passed since Arlie Hochschild’s The Second Shift powerfully made the case that women cannot compete fairly with men when they are doing two jobs and men are doing only one.” (Moravcsik). He goes on to say that women’s roles have shifted to being able to balance a job and a family at one time. Despite the many jobs that
Women are more prone to live in low income circumstances than men, hence introducing the social problem of gender discrimination. Women have been discriminated in the workplace over time in that they are paid less than men in specific jobs and are not seen to be ‘suited’ to particular jobs, especially in the manufacturing and trade industries. Marxist feminist Margaret Benston believed that women were oppressed by capitalism in that they were treated almost as a back-up, or secondary option of cheap labour that enabled profits to be kept up. ‘In 1994, 6.41 million women were in low-paid jobs and on average women’s full-time gross weekly pay was 72 percent of that of men’(Kane, 2003:115).
Women are humans, humans with emotions and the need for self expression. The men, throughout history, have degraded the female sex, they have always seen women as objects and a machine that helps reproduce and carry on their blood. Society formed the ‘perfect’ role for women and it was expected that they follow it. They were expected to be the loving, responsible, obedient, stay at home wives. Due to such an inequitable lifestyle given to women, they decided to fight for equality and defend their gender. They will later be known as feminists. According to Literary and Cultural Theory by Donald Hall, feminists focal point is to investigate the various ways women have been limited to social power and the liberty to self
In this paper, I will explain how the article “The Lady and the Tramp (II): Feminist Welfare Politics, Poor Single Mothers, and the Challenge of Welfare Justice” by Gwendolyn Mink relates to the thematic focus of working women and the Marxist and socialist branch of feminism. In Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction, Rosemarie Tong explains that Marxist and socialist feminists understand women’s oppression as a labor issue. Women’s work is not viewed as a productive contribution to society. One of the ways Marxist and socialist feminists sought to improve women’s oppression was through the wages-for-housework campaign of the 1970s, which fought for work done in the domestic sphere to be paid and respected by society. In this same vein, Mink’s article can be viewed as a continuation of sorts of the wages-for-housework campaign. Mink suggests that poor single mothers have the right for their work to be recognized by society and supported economically like the Marxist and socialist feminist in the 1970s.
First of feminists have disagreed and argued with the functionalist theory of socialisation in the (nuclear) family benefiting society as a whole, Marxists feminists claim that exploitation of women helps in the direction of capitalism, where radical say it’s there to serve men who benefit from the unpaid labour of females, but they all believe that in societies and cultures such as the UK the socialisation process, especially up until the 1970s, was/is a way of supressing and giving women false consciousness of their place in society. Feminist challenge the ideology by functionalist that the nuclear family is the only natural and legitimate form, the family is something that is familiar to us all, and most people consider themselves to be in or part of some sort of
Some radical feminists advocate separatism—a complete separation of male and female in society and culture—while others question not only the relationship between men and women, but the very meaning of "man" and "woman" as well. Some argue that gender roles, gender identity, and sexuality are themselves social constructs. For these feminists, feminism is a primary means to human liberation.
Therefore, feminist sociology is not effective in leading women towards change or an end to dominant heterosexual assumptions that put patriarchy at power. Thus, it is difficult for women to breakthrough the oppression merely on theories and lacking practical action or reforms. When sociologists, such as Smith uses categories to analyze the relationship between women and her male counterpart, she draws on this notion that there is this believed or assumed natural heterogender relationship in society. As Smith proposed, men are able to work in the public materialist world and contribute to the everyday capitalist world is due to the existence of a female figure working within the private sphere to support the workings within the household, and in turn, make a patriarchal and capitalist society possible. Therefore, there is the assumed husband and wife, nuclear family in the household, with each playing their part and indicating that every individual is required to situate themselves as actors in this
Where functionalism believes the nuclear family is positive, marxism argues from a negative viewpoint seeing an extended and reproduced conflict between classes. Marxist dispute the belief of family having equal benefit for all and argue the capitalist economy depends on the family to buy and work, to produce goods which benefits the capitalist. Although the nuclear family is responsible for socialisation, it must be considered that not all norms and values are positive. They oppose the functionalists who paint a rosy view, who forget to account for issues that arise possibly leading to divorce or separation, as not all families are the same (Taylor and Richardson et al,. 2002). The increase of economic pressure from unemployment and people living longer seen to impose pressure on relationships leading to breakdown. The socialisation process seen to result in the spreading of the ruling class philosophy, individuals being deceived into accepting a capitalist system of leadership and dominance. Those Bourgeois benefitting from a created labour force with the proletariat exploited. Engels (1972) saw the bourgeois form of nuclear family as oppressing women, who were dependent financially on their spouse and expected child bearers. Family being designed to control women, protect property and for men to know their
8). The traditional views of gender roles are indeed quite different from the modern views. The men in society are the bread-winners where as the women take care of the children and home. There are basic and common work roles, however in terms of behaviour and involvement there are gender role distinctions. The sex roles generally play out in modern society as well, some sex roles and stereotypes for girls are that they are “nonaggressive, nonathletic, emotionally expressive, tender, domestic, and nurturing. Boys on the other hand are “aggressive, value achievement, attain goals through conflict, and work towards monetary success” (Whicker and Kronenfeld, 1986; pp. 8). The males in the society are “emotionally anesthetised, aggressive, physically tough and daring, unwilling or unable to give nurturance to a child” (Lewis and Sussman, 1986; pp. 1). These traits are carried out by this particular gender mostly outside the society to demonstrate their strength. Those individuals who ignore to carry out these personality traits are seen as weak and unmanly. The women on the other hand are given the responsibility of looking after the family and are supposed to have the opposite personality traits. For instance a woman can show emotions but not outside of the family because of the shame that would bring to the