Family Life: Domestic Roles and Social Organization

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Who does what in the family, and how far do the divisions and inequalities which occur in a family context reflect those in society as a whole? This introductory text to the sociology of the family combines recent feminist interpretations of domestic life with the traditional concerns of family sociology to offer a fre4ash treatment of a topic of importance not only for students of sociology but also for those engaged in professional training for such careers as social work or health visiting. Particularly concerned with the impact that domestic roles have both inside and outside the home, Family Life examines how their organization is structured by the broader social and economic contexts within which families operate. A major part of this involves uncovering the way in which the division of tasks and responsibilities between the genders within the home is both shaped by and shapes the divisions and inequalities that occur outside it. How far do the routine domestic demands upon women limit the opportunities open to them in work and leisure, and how do such demands affect marriage and divorce? What is the real influence of unemployment on the domestic roles? What effect does caring for the elderly have on the carer? In addressing such questions, the book relates the organization of family life to the broader economic and social contexts to provide a novel yet integrated approach.