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Wilmott and Young Carried Out Their Research in London Between 1950 and 1970

  • Date Submitted: 11/08/2011 01:56 PM
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Wilmott and Young carried out their research in London between 1950 and 1970. They believe that the family as we know it has developed and evolved through three stages to become as it is today.
In the first stage, the Pre-Industrial family was extended and everyone lived and worked together. They therefore had joint conjugal roles, meaning they shared duties. In the second stage, the Early Industrial family were extended families beginning to become geographically mobile, dying out and becoming less common. In this stage, there were segregated conjugal roles; the husband was uninvolved with the raising of children and household work, but was the breadwinner of the family going out to earn money. Men spent their leisure time away from home, socialising with work mates and the females spent their time at home, only socialising with female kin and neighbours.

In the third stage, the Symmetrical Family had appeared, once again with joint conjugal roles.
According to Wilmott and Young, this is the type of family most people of today are living in. Partners share responsibility for decisions that would affect the whole family, and men and women spend more time at home, with men now being involved with the raising of children and household work. Wilmott and Young believe that the family went from segregated to joint conjugal roles due to the female retracting from outside relationships with other female kin and neighbours and drawing the husband into the family circle and letting him become more home centred.

They argue that the development of the family has occurred because of a process called stratified diffusion. This means that what the middle class do today, the lower class do tomorrow i.e. If the middle class husbands become more involved in housework then the working class husbands will copy and also become more helpful around the house.
Wilmott and Young now believe that the family will change once again and become the Asymmetrical family. In it,...

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