Functionalist Perspective of Gender Inequality

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Gender inequality does not just vary between cultures, but also in their extent or degree. In the United States, for example, gender inequality often takes the form of an unequal division of homework and childcare in family roles. The functionalist approach regards society as a complex system, in the shape of which solidarity and stability have been promoted. Homework and child care divisions. The functionalist point of view considers society a complex system that works in parts to promote solidarity and stability. The functionalist approach examines social issues through macro-level focusing on social structures which shape society as a whole, looking at both social structures and social functions.

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Division of household work and childcare. In terms of the functionality of its constituent components, functionality addresses society as a whole, namely standards, customs, traditions and institutions. Talcott Parsons ‘ model of the nuclear family was the most strongly articulated functionalist approach to gender inequality in the 1940s and 1950s. Gender roles have been suggested by the functionalist perspective in order to maximize social efficiency. The theory suggests, as an effective means of dividing labor or as a social system, that gender inequalities exist in which specific segments of labor are clearly responsible for certain respective acts.

Work division is aimed at maximizing resources and efficiency. In order to complement predefined gender roles, the division of labor applies a structural functionalist vision of gender inequality: women care for the house while men provide for the family. Gender therefore contributes to the stability of society as a whole, like other social institutions. Gender roles are advantageous in terms of contributing to stable social relations from a functionalistic point of view and many argue that gender roles are discriminatory and should not be upheld. As women were not as capable as men, the function look to women as if their principal role is being a wife and mother.

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Functionalist Perspective of Gender Inequality. (2020, Apr 17). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from
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