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As Aqa Sociology Power Relationships 24 Mark

In: Social Issues

Submitted By dpe8068
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Sociology Essay:
“Examine the factors affecting power relationships and the division of labour between couples” (24 marks)
A power relationship is defined as an imbalance of power between the two people within a relationship. Traditionally, this will mean that one partner will be dominant and manipulative towards the other. Michelle Barrett and Mary McIntosh support this idea that there is an imbalance of power between men and women in heterosexual relationships. They believe the men gain far more from domestic work than they give back in finance. Additionally, this sense of ‘power’ suggestively is rooted from the means of finances – men generally earn more and exert this power on decision making and resources in the household. For example, Barett and McIntosh argue that men usually make these decisions, concluding that financial input is a key factor within a power relationship. Furthermore, it is argued by Elaine Kempson that this imbalance is apparent among low-income families. She notes that within these families, women’s basic human rights are ignored or not seen as a priority, such as women having smaller portions of food or simply skipping meals altogether. Other needs that are set aside are their own female needs and seldom going out.
This theory links closely to the fact that power relationships, from a financial perspective, are observed by two key factors; pooling and an allowance system. Evidence of a more symmetrical, balanced relationship financially is shown when the couple decide to ‘pool’, creating a place where both partners have access to income and joint responsibility for expenditure (a joint bank account for example). Contrastingly, the imbalance of power is apparent from the usage of an allowance system. This system is whereby men give their wives an allowance out of which, they have to budget for the families’ needs. The most conventional…...

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