How is power distributed between partners in relationships? (Power and…
How is power distributed between partners in relationships?
Power and decision-making in families
One aspect of the symmetrical family that Young and Willmott (1973) identified was the growth of a financial partnership between husband and wife
Decision-making, including decisions on how money was spent, was becoming more of a shared activity
Sociologists are interested in the issue of who holds power in family relationships
Feminists such as Delphy and Leonard (1992), however, argue that the family is hierarchical and patriarchal
Jan Pahl (1989), in her study of power and money in marriages, she interviewed 102 married couples with dependent children in Kent.
She found that husbands are more likely than wives to be dominant in decision-making. As such, they can be seen as wielding more power in the relationship
Compared with 30 years ago, more couples share decisions about how the household income is spent, however that there are till many marriages in which the husband controls the finances and the wife's access to the money is very limited
Women and children can sometimes live in poverty, even though the man with whom they live has a good income
Power and domestic violence within families
violence by men against women in the home
Domestic violence can be seen as a form of power and control in which one family member attempts to dominate others.
Violence by women against their male partners
Domestic violence includes:
Physical, sexual and psychological abuse of children
Violence between brothers and sisters
Neglect and abuse of the elderly
How widespread is domestic violence?
They may believe it is a private matter or they might fear the consequences or believe that the police can do nothing about it.
Therefore the recorded incidence of domestic violence is not accurate
Victim surveys indicate that domestic violence is often not reported to the police