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Sociology Postmodern theories of the family

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  • Essay length: 832 words
  • Submitted: 17/11/2009
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AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification

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Outline and discuss postmodern theories of the family

The principles of postmodern views of the family are that there is much wider range of living opportunities available nowadays, because of social and cultural changes. As other theories believe that nuclear family is dominant family type within society, postmodernists disagree with this opinion and have different view.

The New Right and functionalists see the family as a structure that shapes the behaviour of its members. However, postmodernists argue that this structural approach ignores moral relativism of individuals that they always have a choice of family type and nobody can judge them. Also modernists ignore the increase of family diversity; however there is no 'best' family type anymore.

Tamara Hareven (1978) says that we should examine each family member, not whole family, to understand how family live and how they make their choices. This sociologist created life course analysis which shows flexibility of family lives choices. It focuses on the meanings family members give to life events. Holdsworth and Morgan (2005) supported this by examining what means for individuals to be independent and how other people influence their decisions. The positive aspects of life course analysis are that

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