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AS and A Level: Family & Marriage
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UK trends - gender
- 1 Men tend to outperform women in terms of income, wealth, promotion at work; they are more likely to have full time and /or permanent contracts.
- 2 In the home men do less housework than women and are much less likely to suffer domestic violence than women. Men are more likely to have control of finances and power in decision making in the family.
- 3 Women have better life chances in terms of life expectancy, preferential treatment by courts when awarding custody of children, some evidence of greater leniency in sentencing, more time off paid work with their children, lower suicide rates and are doing better in schools.
Key UK trends - social class
- 1 At work, those in the working class are more likely to have a below average paid job, a temporary contract and work part time.
- 2 In terms of policing and the criminal justice system, the working class are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police and to be arrested.
- 3 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
- 4 In terms of health the working class are more likely, more likely to smoke, to miscarry their baby, to die of an accident at work and to die before their first birthday.
- 5 In education the working class are more likely to be placed in lower streams or sets at school, to leave school with fewer educational qualifications, and much less likely than the middle class to go to university.
Key UK trends - ethnicity
- 1 African Caribbean Britons are at high risk of being stopped and searched, getting longer custodial sentences, being excluded from school, being unemployed, living in a single parent family and achieving the lowest average GCSE scores.
- 2 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
- 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
- 4 White Britons have better life chances than ethnic minorities in nearly all areas, with the exception of the British Indians and British Chinese.
- 5 There are significant differences WITHIN ethnic groups, so men and women, people from different social classes and ages have significantly different life chances.
- Marked by Teachers essays 11
- Peer Reviewed essays 1
The superstructure maintains the infrastructure whilst the infrastructure shapes the superstructure. The family helps to maintain this system. Friedrich Engels' 1884 study provides a basis for the Marxist view of the family. Engels aimed to trace its origin through time, and found that changes to the structure of the family were strongly linked to the evolution of the capitalist system. He also explored the concept of monogamy and argued that the monogamous nuclear family developed with the emergence of private ownership of the 'means of production'.
- Word count: 497
on the instrumental role and provide for the family while the woman will adopt the expressive role and take care of the home and family members. Marxists would contest this viewpoint?arguing that the division of labour is capitalist dogma used to control the labour force and stop them from developing consciousness. The final function identified by Murdock was the educational functional?this is the socialisation function of the family. It is this function that maintains the value consensus which allows society to remain functional.
- Word count: 590
Critically examine the Functionalist idea that the nuclear family exists for the benefit of everyone.5 star(s)
Sociologists use the term 'the dark side' to refer to the negative side of the family that challenges the functionalist idea of the 'happy family' with accounts of child abuse domestic violence and divorce rate. Feminists, such as Elliot (1996) point out that there is a 'dark side' of the modern-day family. The "dark side" of the family is found in the patterns of abuse and family violence that often occur within it. Feminists argue it is based around the principles that the family contains a large amount of psychological harm for women, women do the majority of housework, even
- Word count: 1611
Both New Right and New Labour are in favour of the nuclear family because they view it as the best way for a child to be adequately socialised. The New Right view the division of labour as natural and based on biology; when these roles are fulfilled the family will become self-reliant and not have to rely on the state for support. New Labour also support the nuclear family as the best place to raise children, but are supportive of benefits targeted at the poor rather than a totally laissez-faire approach.
- Word count: 845
Also, they believe that men are the ones that usually take charge when making important decisions. This collaboration seems to have a feminist perspective because their beliefs suggest that men hold women back and do not allow them to become their own person in the way they should. A criticism is that this feminist view assumes too much, as there are many women who take charge of their lives and strive to have a life separate from the one she has at home. In addition, it seems that generally feminist resent how women have always had a lower status to men, and therefore less authority, and are not able to let go of that and accept that times are changing and women are becoming more prominent in society, especially in the professional environment.
- Word count: 1156
Using material from item A and elsewhere, assess the contribution of functionalism to our understanding of families and households4 star(s)
The family meets some of society?s essential needs by socialising children. This is regarded as a basic building block of society. Murdock argues that the family performs four essential functions to meet the needs of society and its members. These include; stable satisfaction of the sex drive, reproduction of the next generation, socialisation of the young and meeting its member?s economic needs. Murdock argues that the nuclear family because of its sheer practicality is a way of meeting the four needs of society and that this can be found universally.
- Word count: 1051
Everyone in society has a role to fulfil. Doing these makes society work effectively meaning a re - function. Next Functionalists explain the family also provides the function of economic provision. The family provide a shelter, food, financial support and comfort for the sick. Without the family providing this function I don't believe society would survive as who else would be able to provide the support they already do. Society will benefit from this as people are happy as they are getting the help they need to work hard and poverty can be stopped.
- Word count: 1521
In the stage 3 symmetrical families, conjugal roles become joint, however the wife still has primary responsibility for housework and child rearing, husbands become more involved, often washing clothes, ironing and sharing other domestic duties. Husband and wife shared responsibility for decisions that affect the family; they discuss matters such as household finance and their children's education to a greater degree than stage 2. There are many reasons as to why conjugal roles have changed over the years. Ann Oakley looked into the change being due to housework and childcare.
- Word count: 1066
Before the compulsory education act in 1880, the family performed the acts of primary and secondary socialisation. Working class families had high illiteracy rates. However, during the Industrial revolution the nuclear family became more dominant in society. ?Industrialism? refers to the mass production if goods in a factory using mechanisms, it was work that was centred in factories and based in cities which meant there was an increase in individuals from the extended family leaving the home to work for wage and not the basic survival as in the past.
- Word count: 1077
New nuclear family provided the husband and wife with clear social roles. Wives were expressive Leaders (takes care of children and provides emotional support), Husbands were Instrumental Leaders (bread winner and provides protection). Parsons concluded that the nuclear family is the only family that can provide the achievement orientated and geographically mobile workforce needed by modern industrial economies. Parsons saw nuclear families as ?personality factories? whereby citizens who conform and have certain norms are created. Functionalists believe the family has specific functions: Stabilisation of adult personality.
- Word count: 832
The family is universal because it performs essential function necessary for survival and continuity. This then proves that the family works efficiently together and uses its resources effectively in society. The family's purpose for society is inseparable from its purpose for its individual members. The sexual function is a good example that the family serves both at the same time in the same way. The husband and wife have the right of sexual contact to each other and there are rules unwelcoming affairs in most societies. It also strengthens the family since sexual activities often unite husband and wife.
- Word count: 902
- they tend to take a more negative view of the family and argue that functionalist views of the family have many flaws. 'The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults. ' This is George Murdock's (1949) definition of the family, which he concluded was universal and has always existed.
- Word count: 2023