• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life. (24 marks, 14 AO1, 10 AO2) A social policy is a law implemented by the government to benefit society. These social policies have attempted to promote the nuclear family, such as those introduced by New Labour (although they are more accepting of family diversity than conservatives) and the Conservative government. The Child Support Act supports the conventional family by making the father provide for his children, even when he is absent - thus reinforcing the natural role of the breadwinner. Changes to taxes in 1988 also tried to reinforce the conventional families by not allowing cohabiting couples to claim more tax than married couples, and prevented them from claiming mortgage relief as two people, meaning married people are better off with their taxes. Maternity and paternity leave also reinforce the conventional nuclear family type, as maternity leave is far longer than paternity leave; this assumes that the mother is the primary caretaker of the child (this is not the case in Sweden, where both parents are treated as equal caretakers and income earners). ...read more.

Middle

without any extra benefits, whereas Marxists believe the nuclear family benefits the bourgeoisie as it allows workers to cope with being oppressed and carry on working. The feminist Land argues that policies assume that patriarchal families are the norm and so a self fulfilling prophecy is created and the patriarchal family is produced. Marxists argue that policies such as low state pensions are because when the workers are too old to work, they are not worth maintaining at anything other than the bare minimum required, thus benefitting the bourgeoisie by giving them more money. Some policies have worked to undermine the typical nuclear family, such as the Civil Partnership Act 2004 - this allowed same sex legal unions which had the same rights as marriages (this could also be changed into fully fledged same sex marriage, as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill is currently in the process of being made a fully fledged law in 2013). ...read more.

Conclusion

Social policies in other cultures, such as those introduced by Nazi Germany in the 1930s, encouraged the traditional nuclear family in the Aryan race while preventing other races from reproducing at all. In China, the One Child Policy introduced in 1979 only one child is allowed per family (apart from foreign families living in China) and if this limit is exceeded then the family is penalised - this too promotes the nuclear family, although a reduced version. It also promotes a male dominated society, as people wanted to pass on their family lineage; girls are often abandoned or kept begrudgingly. Social policies have a very large influence on families, especially in allowing them more diversity; nuclear families are still the norm, but their majority is decreasing, with increases in divorce and remarriage meaning that reconstituted families are becoming more popular, in addition to unmarried couples due to secularisation, and the legalisation of homosexuality meant that same sex couples could form stable relationships and eventually adopt and gain the same rights as married couples, rather than the casual fling culture pre-1970s due to the illegality of their activities. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Family & Marriage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

This work aimed to examine the laws & policies impacting on the nuclear family. I thought this was a very good piece of work overall, showcasing the writer

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 28/06/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Family & Marriage essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Outline and evaluate the functionalist view of the role of the family

    4 star(s)

    Also the function of reproduction cannot always be done. What if the family cannot reproduce children or they can't afford a child then the reproduction function can't really be done. Furthermore the family doesn't always provide the function of education to the next generation.

  2. Decline of nuclear family

    Radical psychologist R. D. Laing lays the blame for serious psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, squarely on the shoulders of the nuclear family. He and others who share his views see the family as an oppressive force in the lives of its members.

  1. Examine the contribution of feminist perspectives to an understanding of the family.

    Women were left in charge of the domestic activities such as looking after the house and the children. Over thousands of years because of men's aggressive and outgoing roles they became used to being dominant and women became use to being dependent on men for food and protection.

  2. Examine the view that the nuclear family is universal. (24)

    Murdock's definition of the family and its functions is also quiet conservative in that it deprives certain members of society of family status; it implies that certain types of parenting - single, foster, homosexual and surrogate. This is the main criticism of Murdock, that his views are based on political

  1. Analyse the differences between primary and secondary socialisation

    From when they are born, infants are given clues as to their gender. For example, in an experiment five mothers were observes interacting with a 6 month old child called Beth. They would smile at the baby, offer her doll's and though she was "sweet" and that she had a "soft cry".

  2. Sociology The Family

    By having a source of release from the stresses of everyday life and having emotional security this keeps the personality stable. The relationship of marriage and the opportunity for adults to indulge in childish behaviour with their children helps to prevent overwhelming the individual.

  1. Assess the view that gender roles and relationships have become more equal in modern ...

    increased participation by women in the labour market have led to more equality in modern family life. Young and Wilmott identify a pattern of segregated conjugal roles in their study of traditional working class extended families in the 1950s. Men were the breadwinners and they played very little part in home life.

  2. Analyse how the family structure has changed over the last 100 years

    which therefore causes a rise in single parent families and reconstituted families as single parents then have the chance to find compatibility later on in life. Changes in the law and attitudes have clearly made it easier to be able to get a divorce and Britain now has one of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work