Sociology of Gender
Take home Final
9 December 2010
1. Outline the major differences between the pre-industrial family and the post-
industrial family, with particular reference to the status of adult women and men
in these families.
Family is tied to economic conditions, and since the economy is constantly
changing, so does the family. Pre and Post-Industrial families share several
differences concerning the characteristics, practices, and responsibilities of the
Before the Industrial Revolution, the families were often multigenerational and
tied with the community. The pre-industrial society had involvement from the
extended families, and they all worked together to produce goods for the families
success and survival. Since the societies had not been industrialized yet, the
work place for the families were in the rural lands, so often the families lived in
close distance to their kin. In the pre-industrial societies, production was
relatively simple, so the number of specialty jobs were limited. As a result, the
families experienced both division of labor, but also cross-training. There was
barely any separation between work and the family life, and some work was done
in the families' home to manage more things at once. Since both work and family
life were relatively done in the same place, the father's involvement in childcare
with pre industrial families was relatively higher. In a pre industrial families there
was no room to waste, and the families consumed what they produced. Men’s
status in pre industrial families were to hunt, prepare the fields, help care for the
children, help with building around the house; and women’s status were to help
gather food supplies, plant, manage distribution of foods and belongings, cook
and clean, and primarily care for the children.
After the Industrial Revolution, the pre-industrial society is now an industrial one
the new idea of a nuclear family. In this new industrial society, many people went
from the rural lands to the town to work in the factories, and this caused many of
the extended families to split, and for a time people lived as part of a nuclear
family who were isolated from their kin. Work and family began to separate more
and more as jobs in agriculture declines, and those in factories expanded.
Initially, men had more access to a cash, so the status of men increased through
time to be the primary financial holder. They received the wage money with an
impression the husband would share and take care of his family with the money.
Since the man of the household had to travel to the factories to work, his
involvement in childcare decreased over time. As this new society developed so
did the inequality between men and women. For example, there was a greater
accumulation of surplus resources by men in comparison to women.
The pre-industrial family fit with the pre-industrial society at that time; however,