“Every year the British Social Attitudes survey asks a representative sample of the population what it’s like to live in Britain” and this year there are a few areas surveyed that might be of particular interest to A-level teachers and students.
The first of these is Gender Roles, a chapter divided into 4 main subsections covering:
- Attitudes to gender roles
- Dividing caring and working with young children
- Policies to enable female labour force participation
- Domestic work: attitudes and behaviour.
As you’ll hopefully not be too surprised to learn, the latter is the main focus of this particular post, partly because the domestic labour debate is an integral part of the Families and Households curriculum and partly because it gives a lead into a dimension of the debate that’s probably unfamiliar to most contemporary students – about which, more in a moment.
If you want to read the Domestic Labour section just use the link above to download it. It’s only 7 pages long but for those who are time and attention poor I’ve also included a summary of the key points to save you having to trawl through 50-odd pages.
Wages for Housework?
As a way of spicing-up the whole gender roles and relationships thing you might want to introduce your students to a debate that developed in the early 1970’s: the idea of women being paid for housework.
This has the added bonus of throwing a gentle introduction to different types of (2nd wave) feminism into the mix and this short extract provides a flavour of the debate:
Alternatively, if you fancy watching the whole 30-minute program, be my guest.