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Examine the ways in which state policy may affect families and households.

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Introduction

Using information from items B and C and elsewhere, examine the ways in which state policy may affect families and households. Plan 1) Introduction to state policy 2) Identify and Explain different state policies that affect families and households. Such as * Maternity/paternity leave * Tax and benefits * Child benefit * Divorce law * Homosexuality * Abortion and contraception * Equal pay and jobs for women 3) For each policy explain the views of different perspectives and mention studies. 4) Examine the new right's view that the family can be disadvantaged due to a large amount of state intervention. State policies change depending of the ideology of the government at the time. Most socialists on the left of the political spectrum believe that the state should be large and have lots of intervention, so when the labour party is in power the amount of state policies which are there to intervene with the family increases. However when the conservatives, who are on the right are in power there tends to be less state intervention in the family (item B), as we saw when Margret Thatcher was in power from 1979 to 1990. When the conservative, new right government were in power they introduced policies which would encourage the structure of the family to be the structure they wanted it to be. ...read more.

Middle

The policy has the affect of promoting the traditional nuclear family where the father is the bread winner and the mother cares and raises the children, the new right agree with this policy because it that. Some would argue that this kind of policy is intervening in the family to stop it modernising and progressing into a family of more equality between the mother and father. The divorce act of 1969 was seen by many people from functionalists and the new right as an attack on the traditional nuclear family. They argued that it would break up families and households and cause great pain to the children who had to suffer the trauma of the break up. They went on to argue it would also cause an increase in the number of single parent families which they argued were bad for society. The feminists agreed with the policy as it would liberate women to be free from oppressive men. This law did have the effect to change the shape of the family, there has been a huge increase in the number of single parent families, which has increased the number of households, and this has put huge strain on the housing market, which has resulted in a shortage of houses. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant that homosexual families could be treated like heterosexual families; it also went part of the way to making it acceptable to be homosexual. This was faced with some criticism from the new right who argue homosexuality is unnatural and deviant. As we can see in item C Dr Adrian Rogers argued that homosexual couples "cannot be defined as families - the basis of true love is the ability to procreate and have children. When new labour came to power they recognised that the family is changing and adapted state policy to reflect that. They introduced policies which helped the family develop such as; increasing maternity leave from 14 weeks to nine months, doubled maternity pay, invested in subsides for nursery care and introduced the right for parents of young children to ask for flexible working hours. Lewis (2007) argued that all of these state policies were family friendly; they helped families be there to care for their children. However perspectives such as the new right say that state intervention can be a bad thing for the family. They say it creates a nanny state which infringes the personal life of the family. Some would argue that state intervention has a negative effect on the family as it takes away the choice for the family in society to develop how it wants to develop and not how the state wishes the family and households to develop. ...read more.

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