Australian Left Review

Article Title

Family Patterns


In Poland there is a striking disproportion between the tremendous changes that have occurred in the roles of men and women in public life and those they play in the home and family. The revolution has transformed relations between social classes but not between members of the family, an area, where change is much slower. While the gainful employment of married women has long become accepted as matter-of-course, rational distribution of household chores has not yet been so socially legitimized. Many husbands and wives are still attached to the traditional models of relationships between spouses, parents and children, to a patriarchal pattern of authority within the family - with its equally traditional division of duties. Yet the socio-economic base, which once provided a sufficient justification for such models, has undergone a radical change. In the new situation, in which the woman is a second breadwinner, a re-casting of the roles of husband-cum-father and wife-cum- mother has become of the essence. There is some evidence for believing that such a development is already taking place in this country.