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Families need fathers - discuss.

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Introduction

Families need fathers - discuss Matthew Payne According to Steve Chapman (2002) a family is "an intimate domestic group composed of people related to each other by blood, sexual relations and legal ties" A nuclear family consists of 2 generations, parents and children, living in the same household. Traditionally we think of two parents when we think of a family, as that is how families are always presented especially in the media, but rising divorce rates mean that actually it is highly likely that a family consists of many variations on this theme. The Marxist view of the family is that the family arose in response to development of private property and the need for men to pass on their property to their own offspring, so the main function of the family was to keep the capitalist system going. In 1977 Beechey argued that families perform two major functions for capitalism, providing free childcare for future labour and as a cheap reserve army of labour which can be returned home in times of recession. ...read more.

Middle

(Ken Browne 2002). The new right such as Charles Murray says the growth in lone parent families is linked to the generosity of the state in providing benefits for them. These lone parent families have been pictured as licentious parasites and blamed for a wide range of negative factors in society such as rising juvenile crime, drug abuse and educational failure of children. There has been quite a lot research into the consequences of families where no father figure is present. Dennis & Erdos (1992) argued that the causes of riots in the early 1990's in America and Britain could be linked to the rising number of young men growing up without a father figure. Dennis & Erdos argue that it is not true to say that people are equally successful whether they grow up in lone parent or two parent households. They said boys in fatherless families grow up without restraints and with no discipline or role model, and they then go on to have their own children but don't take any responsibility for them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Feminists said that Bowlby was a traditionalist who was trying to keep women in the home, especially as his research was funded by the government at a time when there was high unemployment amongst men returning from the second world war, so Bowlby's ideas were popular with the Government as it was thought it could help reduce unemployment in men if less women worked. According to Ken Browne (2002) all the problems that have been linked to absent fathers may actually be related not to whether or not a father is absent or present but to how involved a father gets in the upbringing of the child. It is likely that in a family where children are not disciplined there will be later problems, even when there are two parents. A home office report in 1985 found that there was no difference in crime rates from lone or two parent families, so it seems that children just need to have both parents involved, it doesn't really matter whether the father is living with them, but they do need to be part of the care and discipline of the child. ...read more.

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