Understanding society: Families
Family life is continuously changing in many ways. This course looks at the change, or lack of change, in the role of women and men in the home. The discussion of this topic will focus on the connectedness between women’s work in the paid labour force and their work in the home. In addition, underlying this will be our recognition that family life today is characterised by diversity.
The main question we will be addressing is who does the work in the home? More specifically we want to look at how men and women in the UK share the shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing that happens regularly in all families. Of course other work takes place in the home, not least caring for children and other dependents and less regular and non routine house maintenance and DIY work. However, our focus here is a more limited one which will nevertheless introduce you to some of the key ideas and debates involved in studying family life.
We will begin with a summary of how work in the home has changed over the last fifty years or so, and look at the situation now, at the start of the twenty first century. You will also be given the opportunity to explore how different families may have different ideas about how work should be divided up.
The course concludes with an investigation into family diversity and note that any discussion of the division of labour has to recognise that families differ in terms of shape and size.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in