Functionalist and Neoclassical Economic Perspectives

Home » Help With Sociology Assignment » Functionalist and Neoclassical Economic Perspectives

Functionalist and Neoclassical Economic Perspectives

As seen earlier, functionalist theory views men and women as having distinct roles that are important for the survival of the  family  and society. The most basic division  of labor is biological: Men are physically stronger, and

women are the only ones able to bear and nurse children. Gendered belief systems foster assumptions about appropriate behavior  or men and women and may have an effect  on the types of work that women and men perform.

The Importance of Traditional Gender Roles According to functional analysts such as Talcott Parsons (I 955), women’s roles as  nurturers and caregivers are  even more pronounced in contemporary industrialized  societies. While the husband performs the  instrumental  tasks of providing economic support and making  decisions, the wife assumes the express tasks offs  of providing   affection and emotional support for the  family. This division of family labor ensures that important  societal tasks will be fulfilled; it  also provides  stability for family members. This view has been adopted by a number of politically  conservative analysts ‘who   assert that relationships  between men and women are damaged when  changes II’ gender roles occur, and family life suffers as  a  consequence. From this perspective, the traditional  division of labor between men and women is the natural  order of the   universe.

The Human Capital Model Functionalist explanations of occupational gender segregation are !SImilar to neoclassical economic   perspectives, such as the human capital model (Horan, 1978; Kemp, 1994). According to this  model, individuals vary widely in the   mount of human capital they bring to the labor market. HI/man capital is  acquired by education and job training; it is the source  of a person’s productivity and can be measured in terms  of the return on the investment (wages) and the cost (schooling or   raining) (Stevenson, 1988; Kemp, 1994).  From this perspective, what individuals earn is the  result of their own choices (the kinds  f training, education,  and experience they accumulate, for example) and  of the labor market need (demand) for and availability