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

What does the Shannon Matthews Case Suggest about Family Life in Modern Britain

Extracts from this document...


What does the Shannon Matthews' case suggest about family life in modern Britain? This essay will examine and discuss whether the Matthews family is a typical representation of family life in modern Britain. It will take a look at social class and investigate whether this effects the morals and mechanics of family units today, taking into account contributing factors such as financial issues, the benefit system and changing values in the 21st century. Nine year old Shannon Matthews from Dewsbury, West Yorks, went missing for a period of 24 days in February this year, in a suspected kidnapping. Shannon was found a short distance from her home, and later media coverage informed us that despite her publicised pleas for Shannon's safe return, her mother Karen, had known of her whereabouts the whole time. Since her release Shannon has remained in the care of social services. Her mother has been charged with child neglect and perverting the course of justice. Shannon's stepfather Craig Meehan was charged with possessing indecent images of children. Public and media speculation suggests that the kidnapping was little more then a publicity stunt that went wrong. Police officers are examining alleged similarities between Shannon's disappearance and a storyline from the Channel 4 drama series 'Shameless' that was shown shortly before the nine-year-old vanished. ...read more.


are trying to get back on their feet, but also; layabouts, high school drop outs, drug addicts and those involved in criminal activities. Many of the underclass are quite happy to live and raise their children on state benefits. Through an attempt to help the needy the welfare state has created a dependency culture with no incentive to work, marry or educate themselves and who expect handouts to survive. The benefit system highlights the perks of not working, recipients not only receive free money from the state but can also be entitled to free health care, interest free loans and free or discounted accommodation and council tax. Council housing estates increase the segregation of the underclass from the rest of society and creates a never ending social circle of crime, dependency and insolence. People who live on these estates rarely have any positive influences around them, grouping deprived families together in one community leaves them with nobody to learn from except each other. "Council estates became places of last resort for people who had failed to keep up. They have been given this label of the 'underclass' ....and begin to act like worthless people. ...read more.


Conclusion Shannon Matthews family is not a valid representation of family life in modern Britain. Families now come in many shapes and sizes and are defined by much broader categories. It would be stereotypical to assume that untraditional family units or those that are further down the social ladder are more likely to have come from an unstable family background and themselves incapable of creating and sustaining a successful family life. Despite the fact that modern life has altered the mechanics of the family unit, many families/parents are still striving to provide for their children in the best way that they can, regardless of social status. Parents from lower and underclass backgrounds are just as likely to provide loving and caring parenting and create insightful and ambitious children as those from other classes. In comparison, those from the upper and middle classes are just as likely to create dysfunctional family units where the children feel neglected and unloved because of their parents busy lifestyles. It is the ignorance of individuals that play the main part in the creation of dysfunctional families and the negative psychological issues this then creates for those within that family. Overall an individuals personal strengths, weaknesses and morals are what cause them to make their choices in life regardless of nature, nurture and social grouping. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Writing to Inform, Explain and Describe essays

  1. This Case of Insanity

    At last, Friday evening arrived. We sat watching the television in silence. I had to keep smoking, my hands were shaking so.

  2. Trials of Life.

    She was shocked by his concern and instead changed the subject by asking where she was. He told her that she was in room 3 of Bristol hospital in Cardiff. She spent a six weeks in the hospital and during that time, he pestered her to tell him how she

  1. The worst week of my life

    But it was too late now. They knew what I was thinking. Either I would have to alert someone in time, or they would kill me. "Oi!" shouted one of the men, as he pounced onto me. I tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but it was way too tight.

  2. In case you forget

    The bright light, fierce and orange, made it hard to see the camouflaged barrels of guns and the dark green uniforms of British riflemen. He checked his pockets for any spare ammunition, bandages and anything else that might come in useful if a vengeful enemy was on the prowl.

  1. Little Britain

    I guess the show starts with narrator to warm up the viewers. 'Little Britain' is mostly about stereotypes in Britain. Vicky Pollard is a good example of stereotype. She is stereotypical 'chav'. She is not very intelligent, cannot talk properly and even swaps her baby for Westlife CD.

  2. The Case of Lady Sannox

    The fellow is a Turk, I suppose." "Yes, sir. He seems as if he came from abroad, sir. And he's in a terrible way." "Tut, tut! I have an engagement. I must go somewhere else. But I'll see him.

  1. Friends Are Your Family?

    on the field bare foot destructing the guys in-between their cricket match and how much trouble they would cause and then have to apologize to the head of year every week. She missed home and her friends, they weren't just her friends, they were her family and she was lost without them.

  2. Happy Families?

    He then raced to the living room making funny 'crash landing' noises as he calls them, and dumped them on the sofa. They struggled about each other, trying to get up and chase their Dad back to the kitchen. They all entered out of breath with big grins on their faces.

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