First Advisor

Lewis H. Curtis

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Sex role, Collective settlements



Physical Description

1 online resource (246 pages)


The roles of men and women are among the many elements of contemporary American society which are in a process of rapid and sometimes disruptive change. The more or less traditional ways in which men and women have viewed themselves and each other are being openly challenged by a number of significant factors. Although there have always been those exceptional persons who questioned the inevitability of seemingly given role differentiation, today's social climate makes such questioning more common and acceptable.

A few specific factors may be mentioned as being particular interest. With modern communication and mobility, the options for varied educational and employment opportunities and life styles available to both men and women have vastly increased. In a world threatened with overpopulation, there has appeared a marked decrease in family size expectations. Further, increasingly open challenges are being offered to the idea of inevitability and/or desirability of the nuclear family as the ideal life style for all persons.

The modern Women's Movement has spoken to all of the above issues and has added the unique dimension of heightened awareness of past and present role allocation for women and its associated critique of what society has apportioned to men as well.

Cooperative households provide one form of intimate social organizations in which sex roles, in some form, will be expressed. It is the intent of this study to focus upon perceptions of sext roles within contemporary cooperative households. Generally, we wish to know whether or not certain group or individual factors are associated with the development of sex role patterns. If they are associated, in what ways? If they are associated, will this enable us to develop more focused questions which could be investigated in similar settings outside the population sample? Finally, we will examine whether our data and observations raise questions for further inquiry regarding sex role patterns within the nuclear family and/or society in general. As social workers we hope to gain some understanding of ways in which life in a cooperative household may provide one alternative among many for those seeking to develop roles which reflect their uniqueness as persons.


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A practicum submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

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