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Forcing Women’s Roles to Evolve?

August 2, 2009

familyWhen I was growing up, it was common for most families to be nuclear in structure (dad, mom, and two or so kids) with the father being the “bread winner” and leader (patriarchal organization). Forty some years later, things have changed a bit. Modern American family structure accommodates same-sex families, single parent families, sandwich families, and families where parents are replaced by grandparents (I haven’t heard a catchy phrase for this structure yet).

The income sources of families have changed, too. Now it is common for the mother (if one is present) to work and have a broader role in family leadership, what sociologists call a equalitarian setup. But, after talking to many of my students and even a few professors—I wonder if this last change was chosen by many women (achieved status) or simply one that women are now inheriting (ascribed status).

Would you like to voice an opinion about this? If so, please respond to one of the questions below:

1. Do you think that when women entered the work force in large numbers, this resulted in a decrease in men’s salaries compared to past cohorts? If so, what effect would this have on newly formed families? Do you think this might have increased the pressure on women to enter the workforce?

2. Many studies have shown that women, whether career-oriented or working in less-skilled jobs, are paid a percentage of what equally educated and experienced men are paid. Why do you think that is? What effect does this have on the quality of life for single parent families headed by a female?

3. Some people complain that while women have taken on more responsibility, men’s roles have stayed the same or even shrunk. What do you think?

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One comment

  1. to question I answer this, I think yes it was a decrease in men’s salaries and thats why most men had a bad subjective to woman when woman first started working and making a check of her own. Newly formed families would feel awkward I must say if it just happened after womans rights but if its 2009 now they wouldn’t feel bothered by it, as long as the family has an income and the children are looked after there is no doubt to my argument. Yes entering the workforce created a pressure but myself as a woman would feel excited to be doing something differant and if I go to a job with open arms and open minds good things will come of it standing on your own two feet than rather relying on a husband or other funds.



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