Globalisation And Technological Change Sociology Essay Example
Globalisation And Technological Change Sociology Essay Example

Globalisation And Technological Change Sociology Essay Example

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  • Pages: 16 (4226 words)
  • Published: August 15, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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The socio-economic environment in Mauritius has experienced significant changes due to globalization and technological advancements. These transformations have opened up new opportunities for Mauritians, particularly women, who are increasingly involved in the economy and politics. However, despite embracing these prospects and witnessing a rise in female participation in formal employment sectors, there is still resistance to letting go of cultural values and attitudes that continue to govern families and communities. It is important to note that both men and women in Mauritius have retained certain traditional characteristics, as not all the consequences of globalization have been universally seen as beneficial.

Despite their improved economic position, women have faced challenges in adapting to their new societal roles. The employment rate for Mauritian women aged 20-59 increased from 15% to 40% between


the 1950s and the 1990s. This increase can be attributed to the need for additional income and support in households led by women due to rising living costs and an increase in single-parent families. The White Paper on Women in Development acknowledges this upward trend of female employment, highlighting that women themselves feel a greater sense of independence and freedom. These positive changes indicate a shift in the role of Mauritian women.

Women are vital in both the family and society as they play a crucial role. They contribute significantly to the household's functionality, ensuring its longevity. As a result, women are involved in three key roles: productivity outside of the home, generativity within familial responsibilities such as childcare and housework, and community management. Similarly, Dunscombe and Marsden (1995) argued that working women bear the challenging responsibility of balancing a triple workload.


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and industrialization have caused the nuclear family to replace the extended family, leading to decreased interaction with extended relatives. Additionally, there has been a rise in single-parent households due to increased divorce rates. In the past twenty years, there has been a significant increase in families where both parents work and share home responsibilities. As a result, single parents, working women, and dual-earner couples are now extensively involved in the upbringing of children (Carnier et al., 2004).

According to sociologist Ronald Fletcher (2000), households in modern society are facing stress because of work pressure, household duties, and community commitments. In industrial societies, households' traditional roles have decreased while their functions have become more important and complicated. Previously considered as producers, households now mainly act as consumers. Consequently, there is a rise in the buying and consuming of goods and services such as homes, cars, furniture, and education. This has resulted in both husbands and wives needing to work outside the home in capitalist societies.

The key argument is that adult women contribute financially to the household, while men do not participate in domestic duties. As a result, this leads to reduced family time. Occasionally, children are left unsupervised which can lead to social problems and create instability and disorder at home. Women's position has gradually improved over time.

Women have made significant advancements in achieving political equality and equal access to education. Many professions now provide equal opportunities for women, thanks to the successful elimination of discrimination through the implementation of the Equal Chance Act. The economic prosperity of Mauritius, also referred to as the 'Economic Miracle,' greatly depends on the expansion of its manufacturing sector established in

the 1970s.

The industrial sector in Mauritius has had a significant impact on the economy and employment. In the past, uneducated women were the primary workers for industries. However, the current economic system recognizes that households can earn additional income. This change is now acknowledged by society as people understand the challenges families face in balancing their domestic and professional responsibilities.

The demands of work and household responsibilities, as well as caring for aging parents and relatives, often force households to make difficult choices. In Mauritius, the increasing rate of employment for working mothers and dual-career couples has a significant impact on work and family dynamics. This is because the combined pressures from the workplace and home can lead to a high level of work-family conflict for many employees. While development is beneficial for any country, it also places additional strain on women who are trying to balance the conflicting demands of their family life and career. In accordance with the functionalist perspective, families are adopting a postmodern lifestyle that is beneficial for society. Some choose not to have children due to their careers, while others prefer to remain single and adapt to societal expectations.

According to P and B Bergers, the bourgeois household teaches children the important values of moral discipline and economic achievement. E.Leach (1996) argues that the Nuclear household faces stress as they are taken advantage of by capitalists and feel alienated; their work is driven by necessity. Furthermore, modern families desire privacy in today's society, wishing to keep their circumstances hidden from others.

Parents teach their children to be fearful and cautious, advising them against challenging the existing system. The family unit is mainly accountable

for passing on social values and knowledge from one generation to another, thus strengthening societal structures. Likewise, in Mauritius, the government plays a vital role in ensuring a harmonious relationship between work and family life. The stability of families directly affects society and, consequently, the entire country.

The demands of work and longer working hours in Mauritius are eroding family life. With many household members returning home at different times, traditional family meals now only occur on weekends. Parents struggle to find time for their children during the week, leading to increased stress levels and pressure within the home. Due to a lack of time, parents find it challenging to fit all their tasks into shorter timeframes. Consequently, work schedules have imposed time constraints that have resulted in various social issues emerging.

Despite feminists advocating for gender equality, women continue to bear the primary responsibility for household chores and childcare. As a consequence, there has been an increase in divorce rates (0.47 per 1000 people) and a rise in substance abuse among children, including drugs, alcohol, and smoking. Consequently, tasks such as housekeeping and child-rearing are still predominantly seen as "women's work," thereby perpetuating the historical marginalization of women's contributions.

The study's main objective is to examine the impact of work on the modern family and its potential contribution to family breakdown, specifically focusing on women who prioritize their work over household duties. The research aims to analyze various occupational sectors in Mauritius and measure the effect of work-life balance on families. It also seeks to investigate whether women can successfully manage their triple role within the modern family. Additionally, it will assess the functionalist perspective on the

importance of family in Mauritian society and determine if middle-class or upper-class families are more affected by work-related issues. Furthermore, the study will evaluate respondents' opinions regarding whether social problems such as Juvenile Delinquencies arise due to lack of parental supervision in modern families. Lastly, it will propose findings and solutions based on these evaluations. In terms of literature review, it highlights that the family plays a crucial role in socializing children by imparting essential cultural values and norms.

Children require diligent nurturing, affection, and guidance to develop into responsible individuals with strong morals and values. Thus, it is crucial to provide them with exceptional childcare, ensuring their physical, mental, and emotional strength. Sociologists assert that families are intimate domestic groups comprised of individuals who share blood, sexual relationships, or legal connections. Families have consistently proven to be resilient social entities that have endured and evolved over time.

The clip component mentioned earlier can be found in this text. According to the United States Census Bureau (2007), a household is defined as a relatively permanent group of two or more people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption and live together under the same roof. Stephen (1999) defines a household as a social arrangement based on marriage that acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parenthood and includes shared economic obligations between husband and wife. This definition is also used by the United States Census Bureau (2007). The household serves as the fundamental unit of a community, shaping its structure and upbringing which influence the social character and personality of society. Within a family, individuals learn essential values such as love, care, compassion, ethics, honesty, fairness, common

sense, and logical reasoning.

Indispensable values are crucial for community life, but ongoing debates exist regarding the decline of household values. According to George Peter Murdock's 1949 definition, a household is a cosmopolitan establishment that entails a social group with shared residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction.

According to Murdock's definition, a family consists of adults of both genders who are in a socially approved sexual relationship and live together, along with one or more children who are either biologically related or adopted. However, K. Gough (1959) challenges Murdock's definition and argues that the concept of family is not universal. These criticisms are based on observations from the Nayar society.

The main role of adult females, as described by John Bowlby (1953), is primarily to function as mothers and therefore their place is at home taking care of their children during their tender years. Bowlby asserts that delinquencies among young children result from a psychological separation from their mothers, and the mental well-being of children relies solely on their mothers. Thus, a close and intimate mother-child relationship is essential. However, Oakley (1974) challenges Bowlby's argument using the Alor island in Indonesia as an example.

In small-scale horticultural societies, adult females are not tied to their progeny, and there is no evident side effect to it. Additionally, they do not consider the intimate and close relationship necessary. Studies have shown that mothers return to work after giving birth and that the children of working mothers are less likely to be delinquent compared to non-working mothers. Crouch (1999) refers to the advantages gained by wives and mothers as the "mid-century social compromise".

Duncan et Al. (1998) argue that women who identify as 'primarily

female parents' can be found across all levels of society. Hookoomsing (2002) suggests that programs and projects are created and carried out by men, with the assumption that if men as heads of households benefit from these initiatives, women and children will also benefit. Earlier in this literature review, it is demonstrated that the family is nurturing and supportive.

Various authors have raised concerns about the drawbacks of family life, particularly in terms of how women divide their time between work and household responsibilities. This division can cause emotional strain within the family. Nowadays, families are commonly small and lack support from extended relatives such as grandparents, aunts, and cousins. As a result, children may experience feelings of isolation, leading to increased stress levels. If this stress becomes unmanageable, it can lead to severe consequences like violence, psychological damage, mental illness, substance abuse, and criminal behavior.

The relocation of children may cause conflicts between parents, potentially resulting in unsuccessful marriages and subsequent divorces. Even minor incidents have the potential to escalate and significantly impact the family. The mass media is increasingly highlighting cases of child abuse, encompassing sexual, physical, and emotional neglect.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (2000) states that around 10% of children experience severe abuse or neglect by their biological parents at home. In the past, there was a clear separation between family and work duties, where women were responsible for household tasks and men for employment. This division arose from studying family sociology and work/business sociology separately. However, this idea is no longer relevant as more married women are now actively participating in the workforce.

Early research conducted by Rhona Raraport

and Robert N. Raraport (1969) has explored the advantages and challenges of dual-career households. However, there remain numerous unanswered questions regarding the intersection of work and family life. Harkness and Waldfogel (1999) argue that household formation primarily affects the behavior of women in the labor force rather than men.

The decision by labor to withdraw after childbirth has the potential to devalue human capital. This can impact commitment to employers and hinder career advancement. Changes in family arrangements can lead to changes in production agreements (Zaretsky 1976). The prioritization of consumption over production within the household has shifted. Market relations have been overtaken by a capitalist market society, where the economy is embedded in social relations rather than the other way around (Polanyi 1957). Dapne Johnson (1982) notes that the organization of work and schooling hours makes it difficult for single-parent and dual-worker households.

According to Ken Brown (2008), school vacations also contribute to the responsibilities of those who will take care of the child. Full-time married or cohabiting women generally have less time for leisure, as they are often expected to juggle two roles - their paid work and unpaid household duties. Ken Brown (2008) defines work as the production of goods and services that typically earn a salary or provide other rewards. This work can be carried out in either the formal or informal economy. He suggests that work plays a crucial role in occupying, organizing, and structuring an individual's time, and meeting the demands of working life requires a high level of self-discipline.

Work is a significant commitment of time for most individuals in a week and plays a crucial role in shaping their entire

lives. It directly impacts the amount of time and money one has available for family life. According to Pauline Wilson and Allan Kidd (1998), work is a distinct and well-defined activity that refers to the occupation or business one undertakes. It encompasses both the location where one performs their job and the actual tasks they engage in. Work and family, therefore, represent two distinct spheres in an adult's social life.

Howard (2008) summarizes the definition put forth by previous scholars (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Boyar, Maertz, Pearson, & Keough, 2003) and conceptualizes work-family conflict as a type of interrole conflict where both work and family issues create pressures on individuals. Greenhaus and Beutell (1985, as cited in Dealen Willemsen & Sanders, 2006) also define WFC as conflict "in which the role pressures from the work and family domains are mutually incompatible in some regard". Similarly, Greenhaus (2002) states that WFC is bi-directional and creates conflict when individuals have to fulfill multiple roles such as worker, spouse, and parent.

Each of these functions places demands on officeholders, requiring time, energy, and commitment. Conflict arises when the demands from one of these spheres (home, work, personal, and family) interfere with each other and create instability (Frone et al., 1992, 1997). In today's fast-paced society, home and work are two opposing forces (Greenhaus and Powell, 2003) that often result in an imbalance, where women strive to achieve fulfillment and satisfaction (Auster, 2001; Chalofsky, 2003). Additionally, Zedeck (1992) suggests that a person's work experience influences their behavior at home, affecting their attitudes towards themselves and family members.

WFC has been associated with negative work outcomes such as job dissatisfaction, burnout, and turnover

(Greenhaus, Parasuraman & Collins, 2001; Howard, Donofrio & Boles, 2004), as well as psychological distress and marital dissatisfaction (Kinnuen & Mauno, 1998; Aryee et al., 1999). Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) identified three main types of work-family conflict: time-based, strain-based, and behavior-based conflict. Time-based conflict occurs when time devoted to one role makes it difficult to participate in another. For example, when mothers have to work overtime with little notice, it may be challenging for them to fulfill their family responsibilities such as picking up children from school. Time-based conflict is the most common type of work-family conflict as multiple roles reduce the time and energy available to meet all role demands, leading to strain (Goode, 1960) and WFC (Marks, 1977). Strain-based conflict arises when strain or fatigue is experienced in one role and hinders performance or depletes resources that would otherwise be available for another role (Bryon, 2005; Carlson, 1999 as cited in Mauno, Kinnunen & Ruokolainen, 2006).Negative emotional reactions to workplace stress can lead to expressions of anger towards family members or a withdrawal from family interaction in order to recover (O'Driscall,1999 as cited in Jones, Burke & Westman,2006). Behavior-based conflict occurs when specific behaviors required in one role are incompatible with behavior expectations in another role (Carlson et al., 2000).

According to Schein (1973), the male managerial stereotype is characterized by autonomy, emotional stableness, aggressiveness, and objectiveness. Family members may therefore expect a person to be warm, nurturing, and vulnerable when interacting with them (Carlson et al., 2000). Additionally, Carlson et al. (2000) argue that another form of work/family conflict is worry-based conflict in modern industrial society. Conversely, Lu (in press) suggests that the

stability of family life may be eroded by increasing living costs, marital problems, and parental stress, which can interfere with work.

According to Carlson et al. (2000), worry-based struggle is defined as the pervasive and generalized concerns that occur in one area of life and interfere with engagement in another area. Fu and Shaffer (2001) conducted a study to identify the determinants of FWC and WFC struggle in both the household and work contexts. They found that family-specific variables only predicted time-based FWC struggle, while work-specific variables had stronger effects on both time-based and strain-based forms of WFC struggle. Factors such as function struggle, function overload, and hours spent on paid work were particularly influential. Family conflicts were found to be a significant risk factor for increased demands for recovery from work and fatigue.

Time is an important aspect related to work-family dynamics. As time is a limited resource (Frone et al., 1997b), working longer hours means that employees spend more time at work and may have more work responsibilities, leaving them with less time for other activities. Consequently, work hours have consistently been associated with challenges in balancing work and personal life (Mohen and Yu, 2000; Guerts et al.).

In studies by Batt and Valcour (1999), Tausing and Fenwick (2001), and Arora et al. (1990, cited by Kim & Ling, 2001), time pressure has been found to affect work-family conflict. Be it the number of hours worked or the feeling of time shortage, women entrepreneurs in Arora et al.'s survey agreed that their long working hours deprived them of desired family time. Moreover, long work hours may also contribute to parents' feelings of not having enough time

for their children. Regardless of the amount of time spent or the nature of activities undertaken with children, the intense conflict or spillover between work and parental roles persists.

According to studies conducted by Milkie & A; Peltola (1999) and Galinsky (1999), employment can hinder parents' availability and cause them to miss scheduled events. Additionally, children may notice when their parents experience conflicts between work and family, resulting in a perception of reduced psychological accessibility. Reynolds and Aletraris's (2005) research on work hours and work-family issues found that the desire for more or fewer work hours is not influenced by family-to-work conflict, regardless of the age of the children.

The struggle between work and family is often linked to a desire for reduced work hours. Additionally, this struggle is particularly prevalent among women with young children at home. Barnett (2004) found that long work hours are associated with high job demand, emotional exhaustion, marital tension, and work-family conflict in a study on the effects of work hours on stress outcomes.

In a research article published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (vol.5, No.1, 2002), Gerzywacz and Nadine Marks discovered that employees working over 45 hours per week reported more work-to-family conflict. Conversely, those who worked less than 20 hours per week were less likely to believe that their work positively impacted their family life. However, Ganster and Bates' (2003) study on the impact of hours worked on work-family conflict and general wellbeing found no significant associations between work hours and job stress or work-family conflict.

Similarly, Haar's (2001) findings suggest that the current work demands of organizations may not be the sole reason for the number of hours

worked as a source of struggle. Nowadays, households tend to be more forgiving when it comes to the time load associated with working long hours. The global prevalence of the dual-career phenomenon has led to stressors and strains affecting both home and work life for couples managing multiple responsibilities, which can have adverse effects on organizations (Elloy & Smith, 2004). On one hand, in dual-earner households, husbands are more likely to take care of children when their wives are at work during non-regular shifts (Presser, 1988). On the other hand, women who earn higher income are more inclined to hire domestic help due to the higher value of their time (Goldscheider & Waite, 1991). Elloy and Smith's (2004) study, based on data from a sample of 62 lawyers and accountants in Australia, examines the antecedents of work-family conflict (WFC) among dual-earner couples.

The consequences show that overload and function struggle significantly impact WFC. A study by Flosehan and Gillbert (1979), cited in Kim, A, and Ling (2001), on double calling twosomes found a positive relationship between the number of hours worked and occupation spouse struggle, as well as job-parent struggle. Additionally, Voydanoff (1994) interviewed married dual-earner parents of children aged 10-17 from the 1992-1997 National Survey Children of Families and Households to examine relationships between work and community resources and family demands. In this study, matrimonial quality was conceptualized in three dimensions: activities with partner, marital dissensions, and marital happiness. Therefore, the problem is with overworked couples rather than overworked individuals. Major et al.

, (2002) propose that overload occurs when the perceived amount of work overwhelms an individual's perceived ability to cope. Empirical evidence suggests that

the growing perception of overwork in the United States is linked to the increases in the working hours of couples (Clarkberg and Mohen, 2001; Jacobs and Gerson, 2000). Because women undertake a larger share of household labor compared to men (Coltrane, 2000), family responsibilities are more likely to create a desire for fewer hours among women than men. On the other hand, Godbey (1977) argued that Americans have not increased the amount of time devoted to work, but rather their lives have become more fast-paced, resulting in many feeling overworked.

Hochschild (1977) argued that work and home life had become intertwined, resulting in workers spending more time in the workplace to avoid family responsibilities. Lu, Gilmour Kao, and Huang (2006) conducted a cross-cultural study comparing work/family demands, conflict, and well-being in the UK (individualistic society) and Taiwan (leftist society). They found that work demands, such as long hours and heavy workload, were associated with work/family conflict, while family demands were related to family work conflict. Both work/family conflict and family/work conflict were negatively associated with job satisfaction and life satisfaction in both countries. Notably, the British participants showed a stronger positive relationship between workload and work/family conflict, as well as a stronger positive relationship between sharing household chores and family/work conflict compared to the Chinese participants. It is a common experience to face work-family conflict in modern Western life.

Work-family struggle has been linked to numerous unwanted effects and is now a job that organisations cannot ignore ( Higgings et al. , 1992 ) . Currently, women in many developed countries face difficulties in balancing their work and family life ( Japlin, Shaffer, Francesco & A ;

Lau, 2003 ) . Chinese employees, especially those in urban areas, are increasingly exposed to highly stressful industrial work environments ( Lu et al.

, 2005). The challenge of balancing work and household demands may be particularly burdensome for adult females. They may be required to attend to household work such as childcare arrangements, manage their time and commitment to paid work, and maintain social relationships (Burke, 2001).

Similarly, female parents of dependent children have seen an increase in their labor force participation (ABS, 2006). However, most female parents still retain their primary responsibility for family care and domestic affairs (De Vaus, 2009).

According to the 2005 Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HLDA) survey data, Losoncz and Bortolotto (2009) discovered that about 30% of Australian female parents with paid work experience a high level of tension between work and family duties. These mothers reported lower physical and mental health, as well as lower satisfaction with family life and parenting compared to other working mothers with low family tensions. Moreover, the level of tension between work and family duties also varies among mothers depending on their characteristics, family types, and socio-economic circumstances.

According to Strazdins and her colleagues (2008), lone parents with preschool age children who are employed tend to experience more work-family strain compared to employed mothers with a spouse. However, the negative impact of work on family life is more common than the other way around (Pocock et al., 2007). The home environment can also affect work performance and the level of satisfaction and reward derived from work. Factors that contribute to the spillover of issues from home to work include the care needs

of children and elderly relatives (Barnett, 1994; Barnett & Marshall, 1992a, 1992b), household chores and their distribution within the family (Coltrane, 2000), and the perceived quality of each parent's role as both a partner and a parent (Milkie & Peltora, 1999). Haar (2005) examined the interaction effects of work-family conflict and family-work conflict and discovered that there were intensification effects when experiencing conflict in both roles. This means that when there were high levels of both forms of conflict, there were greater decreases in job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

In 2005, Haar stated that when there is conflict in one sphere and struggle in the other, it can intensify the consequences on occupation results. While we have knowledge on the direct effects of work-family struggle and some understanding of positive spillover, it is not clear how these aspects may influence outcomes when combined. The reason why these interaction effects need more attention is that we are ge.

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