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Evaluate the contribution the New Right has made to our understanding of the role of the family in society.

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Introduction

Evaluate the contribution the New Right has made to our understanding of the role of the family in society. The New right are very much like factionalists in their views of the family. Both see the nuclear family as the 'normal' family, therefore other families like lone-parent or reconstituted families are 'abnormal.' They refer to the family as the "cornerstone of society" so they do emphasise the importance of the family but do say its important in society and do not comment on how important the family is to family members. They do want these traditional values to return as they think it will help solve problems in modern day society, but they don't see the reason how these different types of families have been created. For example, lone-parent families can also be produced because of the mother/father has passed away or can be due to separation of a family for various reasons. ...read more.

Middle

They do claim that in the Victorian times, there was a lower divorce rate and crime rate and they blame this on 'modern society,' although things like single parenthood, sexual relations outside marriage and working wives were not common, so what do they mean by modern society? However, New Right sociologists do give solutions to how these problems can be solved. 1. "The traditional family should be encouraged and strengthened, since the best solution for children is to be raised by two loving, heterosexual married parents."- However, they don't se the reason behind the parent's separation. Some may argue that if the situation between the parents is not pleasant, then it is best for the child to be with 1 loving parent rather then 2 unpleasant parents. 2. "Welfare benefits should not be so high as to be a disincentive to work."- For people who need the welfare state, the amount of money given is just about sufficient and if decreased can cause financial stress within the family. 3. ...read more.

Conclusion

5. "Community spirit and neighbourliness should be fostered as support mechanisms for the family"- moral support is good to have, however people should try to be independent and not depend on anyone to get further in life. The New Right feel people should not try to get alternatives for the family as this causes side effects such as illegitimacy and under-achieving children. Charles Murray did a study on illegitimacy (children born out of wedlock) and discovered that there was a relationship between them and many social problems like underachieving children at school, crime, drugs and unemployment. Dennis & Halsey agree with Murray too. Although functionalists express similar views to the New Right, feminists disagree with them. * Marxist-feminists suggest that the family is an obstacle to women's freedom and the family as an institution in keep the capital system going. They see this as a patriarchal institute where women are a vital part of reproducing labour power. They suffer in many ways because of the family, one being because they have responsibilities towards the domestic and childcare side of the family. ...read more.

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