• 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. ASSESS SOCIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS OF CHANGES IN THE STATUS OF CHILDHOOD

    They criticize the march of progress on two grounds, Firstly there are inequalities among children in terms of opportunities and risks they face: many today remain unprotected and badly cared for. For example, poor mothers are more likely to have low birth-weight babies, which in turn is linked to delayed physical and intellectual development.

  2. Assess the view that the symmetrical family exists in modern day society

    Also, women are more likely to spend their own money on their children's needs instead of themselves, including women of a large income, leaving women with less money than men therefore the couple are unequal and un-symmetrical. Men also take more of a share in the family's resources and make

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

    Kathleen Gough's study of the Nayar Family is an exception to Murdock's view that the nuclear family is universal. The ritual of marriage within the Nayar community was one that required no obligation on the part of the two involved.

  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. Free essay

    Assess the functionalist position on the role of the family. (24 Marks)

    It is ideally seen as the males' job to go out and earn the money and the females' job to care for her husband, kids and house, which is widely criticised by feminists. The fourth and final function that Murdock proposed was that family must provide the correct education for

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

    Women were full-time housewives with sole responsibility for housework and childcare. This is proving Elizabeth Bott's findings and is showing that gender roles have become more equal in modern family life. Young and Willmott take a 'march of progress' view of the history of the family.

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

    Men control children using physical and psychological abuse but in some case sexual dominance is used. Therefore Firestone believed that the sexual abuse of women and children was not about sexual deviance at all but about power. Over the centuries men have become adapted to the power held over women so find it difficult to accept them as equals.

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

    the highest divorce rates in Europe and the largest percentage of people in any European nation who have been divorced. Data indicates that the number of couples getting a divorce dropped to the lowest rate for 26 years in 2007.

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