Increased female participation and how this has changed the very nature of the family. Labor market reform and changes to legal statutes are also explored to indicate how males and females have adapted to these changes. The conclusion is a brief summary, which reflects that gender roles have changed in work and family life as both sexes adjust to the demands of modernity. Although this change is noticeable and indicates that Australia is edging towards greater gender equality in work and family, this balance is not in proportion in either sphere and appears to result in women taking on more responsibility in both domains, this ‘double shift’ is quickly becoming the norm.There have been major changes in working life since industrialism penetrated Australia. One of the initial main changes has been a shift in attitudes towards work. In pre-industrial societies, the attitudes of workers towards their task were significantly different to that of modern day. Early societies displayed attitudes that reflected the Protestant ethic. Workers had a holistic view of their role, they believed that work was necessary to achieve harmony between mind/body and the external world, thus, they needed work to feel complete (Carroll, 1998:13-15). Workers were able to derive immense pleasure and satisfaction from their working life. Industrialism, however, changed that work ethic and it was replaced by the modern work ethic where workers cannot always immediately see the fruits of their labor and therefore are alienated from it (Sennett, 1998:99). Work in contemporary times is valued mainly for its economic benefits and the fact that it enables leisure activity and family life. Family life has also experienced a change in attitudes towards assumptions about love and what it means to be part of a family. The marriage was once seen as necessary for procreation and to regulate sexual behavior, but ideas about modern marriages and intimate relationships have transformed and this is reflected in the makeup of those relationships and family composition.
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