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Sample Undergraduate Sociology Dissertation Proposal

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Assessing Gender Roles in Family- Have they Changed Over the Past Ten Years?

Abstract

Gender roles are defined by society’s social and cultural norms . In many communities, family systems are based on gender roles, and these gender roles help the family member to run the family with responsibilities. But the family structure and gender roles are changed in this modern era.

This research study will investigate the importance of gender roles in the family and how they have changed in the last ten years. Gender roles have been changing in society in the past years, so it would be assumed that traditional gender roles might not exist. This study will take a closer look at the difference between gender roles how they have changed in ten years.

Gender roles differ between individuals based on religion, ideology, gender, and family background. In 2010, the development of technology-enabled women to be more empowered and express their feelings. Now, Gender roles have been changing in the family. And this sudden change in the dominant male society has led to many family troubles.

Background and rationale

A massive change has been witnessed in how men and women behave and express their opinions regarding work and family life from the recent decade. Gender roles are defined by society’s social and cultural norms . In many cultures or societies, the family system is based on gender roles, and these gender roles help the family member to run the family with responsibilities.

But now, our modern life has changed the family structure and associated gender roles. The gender gap has been almost diminished and has created an equal society and families. Ever since humans began living in civilizations, the difference between male gender and female gender began and implicated specific responsibilities and lifestyles for each gender.

For example, in older times, hunting was the only way of living; thus, male family members took over the role of hunters and supplied food while female members were homemakers and cooks (Sweeting et al., 2014). Masculinity helped the male gender to dominate society.

But now the time has changed, and females are empowered and have the almost equal status of men. They live independently without men’s help, and this newly gained power has defined new gender roles in the family, which has also resulted in conflicts in the family.

Past research on this topic was related to the differences in gender roles and self-concept or future relationships. This study aims to examine the gender role in a family, the importance of gender roles, and how they have changed in the last ten years. Research on this topic will give the background on the gender roles in a family and provide a starting point for further research.

Research aims

The main aim of this study is to investigate the gender roles in the family. Gender roles are cultural beliefs of how roles are divided into society by gender. Gender roles have been changing in society in the past years, so it would be assumed that traditional gender roles might not exist. This study will take a closer look at the difference between gender roles how they have changed in ten years.

Research objectives

This study will cover the following objectives

  • To find are gender roles. How these gender roles affect the lives of men and women?
  • Identify gender roles in the family and in which conditions these roles change.
  • To assess the impact of gender roles and attitudes in a family conflict.
  • To identify the differences between men and women based on unequal opportunities/ resources.
  • To analyze the change in gender roles from the last ten years.

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Literature review

Gender is parallel to the biological division of sex into male and female, but it also involves the social valuation of masculinity and femininity . Humans create the concept of gender through their interactions and behavior in society, yet it relies upon the biological differences between men and women.

Gender roles that men and women are expected to inhabit based on their sex. Gender roles differ between individuals based on religion, ideology, gender, and family background. For example, in many western societies, it has been believed that women are more nurturing than men. This point of view specifies the traditional gender role of women that women should behave in nurturing ways.

Similarly, men are considered leaders, so men’s traditional role is to be the head of their family by providing financially and making important family decisions. In 2010, the development of technology-enabled women to be more empowered and express their feelings.

Now, Gender roles have been changing in the family. And this sudden change in the dominant male society has led to many family troubles. A Pew Research survey showed that the public has different views about the changing gender roles in the family. Women working may be helpful financially, but it has not shown positive effects on marriage and children. 74% say it has made it harder for parents to raise children (PEW, 2013).

And half of the adults say that this has made it harder for marriages to be successful. Compared with the public reviews in 1997, almost 82% said that it had made it harder for parents to raise children (compared with74% today), and 67 percent said that it had made it harder for marriages to work (compared with 50 percent today) (PEW, 2013).

Gender roles in the family are closely associated with parenthood. But today, both parents work and enjoy financial independence. Parenting impacts the work-life of both men and women. For example, men usually try to strengthen or increase their family’s financial provision by expanding their working hours, and women take leave formwork to take care of their child and stay at home (Oláh et al., 2018).

The development of women’s roles has made a new gender revolution (Goldscheider et al., 2015). Many studies have shown that gender roles and family patterns are interconnected. The evolution of female labor force participation and rising participation of women in economic independence has been the leading cause of family change .

But in many family’s men work, and women manage the household chores; this has also caused some tensions between partners due to the transfer of work stress to the family by men and less involvement in household chores, leading to marital conflict . Men used to enjoy being the family’s breadwinner, and now, with this change, men feel displaced when their wives earn more than them, and unemployed husbands feel angry and sometimes lose their tempers and hit wives and children. This conflict increases distress and frustration between couples .

In almost every culture, the family systems are based on gender roles, and these gender roles help them to run the family with responsibilities. With the world evolving, these roles are also changing, and holding on to the old century traditions and lifestyle will only worsen the situation.

Methodology

This research study will be analyzed using a secondary method. Qualitative research will be carried out to study the gender roles in a family and their importance and how they have changed in the last ten years. Secondary data will be collected using websites, published articles, reports, and other authentic sources. It will help to obtain a strong understanding of the topic.

Research limitations

This research might have some limitations since the collected data will consist of a specific number of people, so the sample may not represent the population. This study will have a little cultural diversity, so it may not apply to all cultures.

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Conclusion

In middle-class families, men were usually aspired to own a comfortable house and marry a woman with strong moralities who would take responsibility and raise well-behaved children. The duties of men and women in middle-class families were clearly defined in a separate area.

The husband was considered the head of their family by providing financially and making important family decisions, and women were responsible for caring for the house and raising children. But the development of women’s role has created a new gender revolution (Goldscheider et al., 2015).

The change in gender role in the family is more affected by women’s work engagement. This has also caused some negative impact on marital life as some men don’t want their wives to work. The gender roles vary from culture to culture as people from different cultures or societies have a different mindset.

Bibliography

Becker, G. S., 1991. A Treatise on the family. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Blackstone, A. M., 2003. Gender Roles and Society. In: J. R. Miller, R. M. Lerner, L. B. Scgiamberg & P. M. Anderson, eds. The Encyclopedia of human ecology. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, pp. 335-338.

Cerrato, J. & Cifre, E., 2018. Gender Inequality in Household Chores and Work-Family Conflict. Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 9.

Goldscheider, F., Bernhardt, E. & Lappegård, T., 2015. The Gender Revolution: A Framework for Understanding Changing Family and Demographic Behavior. Population and Development Review, 41(2), pp. 207-239.

Oakley, A., 1972. Sex, Gender, and Society. New York: Harper and Row.

Oláh, L. S., Kotowska, I. E. & Richter, R., 2018. The New Roles of Men and Women and Implications for Families and Societies. A Demographic Perspective on Gender, Family, and Health in Europe, pp. 41-64.

PEW, 2013. Pew Research Center. [Online]
Available at: https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/29/chapter-2-public-views-on-changing-gender-roles/#fn-17132-7
[Accessed 3 January, 2021].

Sweeting, H. et al., 2014. Changing gender roles and attitudes and their implications for well-being around the new millennium.

Social Psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 49(5), pp. 791-809.

Westman, M. & Etzion, D. l., 2006. The Crossover of Work‐Family Conflict From One Spouse to the Other. Journal of applied social psychology, 35(9).