In the process of social change, as family structures change and women increasingly participate in labor force, there has been a change in Chilean women’s traditional family roles. The main purpose of this thesis is to explore how the changes in family roles have impacted on conjugal relations, parent-child relations, kinships, the work-family conflict, and children’s education especially in single mothers’ families.
The study found out that the change of family roles, induced by increasing awareness of individual autonomy and gender equality, has resulted in readjustment of power relationships between husbands and wives, with different gender relations in families of different socioeconomic status, as well as in parent-child relations. In regards of kinship, the study found out that taking care of elderly and disabled people are still within the major domain of Chilean women. Furthermore, Chilean women, who have dual responsibilities in work and family, have to figure out how to deal with the work-family conflict, which at times resulted in domestic violence, marital instability, etc. because of deficiencies in those solutions.
In regards of children’s education, the study found that although Chilean fathers in recent years have spent more time in their children’s education, mothers are still the primary undertakers of this responsibility. Moreover, in Chile, neither the fact that mothers go out to work nor absence of fathers is found to be the main factor affecting children’s upbringing.