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AS and A Level: Family & Marriage

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UK trends - gender

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 3 In the family people from working class backgrounds are more likely to marry younger and to get divorced.
  4. 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. 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. 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. 2 British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have the highest rates of poverty, living in cramped housing and female unemployment.
  3. 3 British Indians and British Chinese have higher than average educational success rates.
  4. 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. 5 There are significant differences WITHIN ethnic groups, so men and women, people from different social classes and ages have significantly different life chances.

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  1. AS Sociology Coursework - Domestic Violence

    The sample type used was snowball sampling. This type of sampling is used when the researcher has difficulty contacting potential interviewees. In this case it was hard to find women who had been involved in domestic abuse, especially as Bush chose not to use any official records. She managed to obtain a very sample of thirteen women so it could not be used to represent or generalise. Bush wanted to make the women feel as comfortable as possible so she didn't tell them that she was conducting a research on them. Instead she mentioned that it was a university project.

    • Word count: 1140
  2. Symmetrical Familu

    The next stage of post-industrial extended family began with industrialisation in 1750 and it developed throughout the 19th century. At this stage the family doesn't work together as a unit of production but as individual wage earners. The extended family networks were the solution to the hardship the industrial working class had to deal with. The mutual aid ties between a mother and her married daughter were strong which led to the conjugal ties turning weak. Willmott and Young stated "husbands were often squeezed out of the warmth of the female circle and took to the pubs as their defence."

    • Word count: 1816
  3. Industrialisation and the family

    For instance: the educational system and employer rather than the family performs job training. Also an industrial society requires geographical mobility for the workforce hence an isolated nuclear family is preferred as extended families cause duties and obligations to the relatives. Another functionalist, Fletcher published a book: Family and Marriage in Britain (1996) in which he agreed with Parsons theory about industrialisation resulting in an isolated nuclear family. Although, he disagrees with the non-essential functions being "transferred" as he believes that these functions are retained. Fletcher claims that the family is still responsible for these functions as the family interacts with the specialised organisations e.g.: governmental and religious functions are both conducted with the home and are picked up by discussion.

    • Word count: 1331
  4. Why family formations have changed in Britain.

    The family is seen as a universal institute that has a key relationship between other social institutes. Functionalists see the male and female roles as being set. The male is the sole breadwinner of the family and the wife stays at home and takes care of the house household duties and the children. Functionalists have been criticised for concentrating on harmony to much and not recognising that conflict can occur within the family. Functionalism sees society as being status-quo (the way things are) and does not allow for change. The view of the family as 'normal' or 'natural' is said to be ideological.

    • Word count: 1616
  5. Families and Households are structurally diverse

    In agreement with my hypothesis the Rapports have suggested that the Organisational diversity of the family has increased over the last 17 years; social trends research supports this; (1982 and 1999). Social trends research states that the number of married couples with dependent or independent children has decreased for example in 1981 40% of households with dependent or independent children has decreased to only 30%; this is a massive 10% decline over the period of 17years. This research therefore shows that the nuclear family is no longer the dominant norm which supports my hypothesis.

    • Word count: 1221
  6. Examine the reasons for changes in the position of children in the family and society

    Very little changed when industrialisation occurred, except people began campaigning for child rights, something that had never happened until this point as in working class families children were still made to work in dangerous, disease ridden factories for hours on end. So this was something that caused the position of children in society to change as it was felt that juvenile delinquency, begging and child prostitution was a big problem that needed to be stopped. This lead to children being excluded from factory work and mines.

    • Word count: 1033
  7. Examine ways in witch social policies & laws may influence families & households

    The Child Support Agency (CSA) was set up in 1993 to make divorced fathers more financially liable for their children. The New Right believes that families should stay together no matter what, & should not divorce in order to strengthen the family & society. Some Feminists also initially support the principle behind the CSA, focusing the poverty of former ex wives compared to the ex husbands who generally recover financially from divorce in a few years and in the long term are no worse off.

    • Word count: 1170
  8. Assess childhood is not a fixed universal experience

    says that children were regarded as an economic asset rather than a symbol of love for one another. He argues that 'childhood' as we understand it today is a new invention. In the middle ages childhood did not exist, the children were treated exactly the same as the adults such as they ate the same food, wore the same clothes and were punished the same. Aries claimed that childhood began from the early 13th century as fee-paying schools were open to provide education for the rich. The church also began to separate children from adults as saying that they needed to be punished differently, This then led into the early industrial times, with the industrial revolution (1760s onwards)

    • Word count: 1061
  9. Evaluate the view that religion acts as a conservative force in modern society

    Durkheim studied Australian Aborigines to illustrate the way in which religion performs these functions, especially strengthening collective values. Their worship focused on the scared object - the bullroarer and this was seen as uniting the group and its values. However, there are many societies which are characterised by social conflict rather than the consensus which Functionalists focus on. Religion is seen as a divisive social force rather than an integrating one. It can be argued that Durkheim's theory about the functions of religion, both for individuals and society, can be applied to the modern day. Malinowski believes that the function of religion is to bond a community together.

    • Word count: 1394
  10. Some sociologists argue that, with the rise of the symmetrical family, the patriarchal power of the husband has disappeared and relationships have become more equal and democratic. Using relevant sociological theories how far do you agree with this view.?

    It will look at the research on family life in London by Willmott and Young and their theory that there was a rise in the symmetrical family. The paper will then move onto the feminists views of the Symmetrical family and review Oakley's own research onto shared conjugal roles within the family which provided evidence against Willmott and Youngs theory. Moving then to look at other research carried out by Pahl, Edgell, Yeandle which like Oakley's research was to measure the symmetry in roles within the family.

    • Word count: 1449
  11. Free essay

    There is a gradual sharing of gender roles within the family.

    Conjugal roles can be jointly carried out, segregated or integrated. Ann Oakley (1974) and other feminists disagreed that conjugal roles were joint but were socially constructed, after the industrial revolution new laws were brought out restricting women and children's working hours. Women were forced to become housewives and mothers, men were seen as the macho male. Some feminist theories suggest that society is patriarchal, a system of male power and control. Feminists argue women are pushed to the margins of an industrial economy by male dominated institutions, suggesting males are therefore insured power and authority with in gender roles and the family.

    • Word count: 1622
  12. Examine the effects of industrialization on the structure of the family

    They had a strong sense of obligation to help each other and dealt with member's health, welfare, employment and protection. The re-industrial extended family was basically multi-functional. According to Parsons after industrialisation the family became nuclear, it had become structurally isolated from wider family and they had no binding obligation the their wider kinship, also due to the change in structure and demands of the family the industrial nuclear family has lost some of its functions to other institutions such as school and health services.

    • Word count: 1397
  13. sociology a2 essay

    After narrowing my topic down, I read a chapter 19 of bell hooks 'reel to real: race, sex drugs at the movies' just to get me started. the book Was about their view on black acting and a lot of that she said suggested that holly wood does not take black women seriously. bell hooks - "no one says watch bodyguard because Whitney Huston is a good actress. We go to see what the musical icon does in the movie."

    • Word count: 1216
  14. Education policies

    This act was a bit flawed because the 11-plus exams were unreliable. It was clear that a young person's educational future could not be predicted by an IQ test at 11. However it was a good policy as it was a free state education it gave each and every child a chance in life. Marxists would say that this act was brought about to benefit the bourgeoisie. Although it gave every pupil a chance to succeed in life, they were always going to benefit the ruling class because every child that does succeed will enter the labour market and eventually work for someone who is upper class, hence benefiting the ruling class.

    • Word count: 1473
  15. Explain and briefly evaluate ways in which femininities are created and reinforced in contemporary society.

    Such as girls playing with Barbie dolls, giving them an interest in hair and clothes; traditional 'girly' interests. 3. Verbal appellation - the names that children are called which teaches gender appropriate behaviour, for example, calling little girls 'princess' and the tone of voice used is generally softer with girls than it is with boys. 4. Different activities - children encouraged to involve themselves in the appropriate activities. E.g. girls helping their mothers in the kitchen. These four ways can be used to socialise young girls into what behaviour is seen as 'right', although Ann Oakley did her research 30 years ago, and is considered out of date, a more recent study by Joanna smith (1997) reinforces Oakley's points.

    • Word count: 1527
  16. Symmetrical Family

    Evidence for this is a survey they did in 1973 to see whether the husbands and wives in Bethnal Green share the domestic labour equally. "Domestic labour" is the term to describe the chores of family life these are three main things cleaning, cooking and childcare. The survey looked at the type of jobs done by the husbands and then looked at the percentages of how much the men helped their wives per week. But it doesn't define how much in that week it splits it up into three categories which are "none", "washing up only", "other tasks (e.g.

    • Word count: 1241
  17. Outline and discuss the view that the nuclear family is the ideal family

    pay for a better education, and get them a good job either in their own business or their friends businesses. Marxists believe the family socialises the working class to accept that it is fair that the classes are unequal. Functionalists also tend to ignore the diversity of the family life in the industrial society. For example, there is little reference to lone parents, cohabiting families and reconstituted families. The New Right are keen on the nuclear family they believe that a nuclear family should be based on heterosexual adults being married and becoming parents.

    • Word count: 1388
  18. Diversity in Modern Family Life

    David Eversley and Lucy Bonnerjea add a sixth variable, Region. With organizational diversity, each family can choose their own way of living with and organizing their family. According to 2002 statistics, 14% of British households are made up of cohabiting couples, with the 1986 statistics at 5%, it is clear that more men and woman are now opting out of a married life. British families headed by a single, never married, mother rose from 1% in 1971 to 11% in 2000, with households headed by a lone mother rising by 16%.

    • Word count: 1846
  19. Decline of nuclear family

    They argue that single parenthood transmits deviant norms and values through inadequate socialisation by only one parent. Their argument even extends to claiming that the children of the lower socio-economic classes possess inferior intelligence to their higher socio-economic class (and properly socialised by functional two parent families) counterparts. The single mother is treated as problematic. The New Right stereotype of the single mother as possessing inferior morals, as having strings of casual relationships with resulting illegitimate off-spring and too young to rise to the challenge of parenthood is countered by evidence painting quite a different picture of the typical single mother.

    • Word count: 1519
  20. Symmetrical Family

    This gave way to the stage 2 nuclear family where the roles of men and women are segregated; men going out to work and socialising outside of the family home and the women becoming increasingly home centred and close to other female members of the family. The stage 3 nuclear family has less contact with extended kinship networks (as with the stage 2 family) and is therefore 'privatised' and focused on its members. Men spend their leisure time in the home or engaged in activities that include the wife and/or children or vice versa.

    • Word count: 1506
  21. Boys underachievement in Education

    This concept is important to my study as it's the factor that will essentially be proven or disproven. My first context for the study is taken from Eirene Mitsos and Ken Browne-Boys' underachievement. Mitsos and Browne (1998) believe that boys are underachieving in education, although they also believe girls are disadvantaged. The evidence of boy's underachievement, according to Mitsos and Browne, is that: ''Girls do better than boys in every stage of National Curriculum SAT results in English, Maths and Science, and they are now more successful than boys at every level in GCSE, outperforming boys in every major subject....except Physics.''

    • Word count: 1225
  22. Free essay

    Family Diversity

    Evidence suggests that they can "exert a powerful influence over pupils achievements." Ray Rist did a study of a kindergarten. He found that the teacher looked into each individual children's background and then placed them in separate groups dependant upon their social class.

    • Word count: 1231
  23. Culture & Socialisation

    mother to cook and, if my mother was not there then, as the oldest daughter I was expected to assume her role and take care of the house and those in it. Although generally my role as daughter was menial when my mother was present, it became the most important when my mother was not present. My mother would allow me to accompany her whilst she visited her friends and would also take me to parties and gatherings. This was not accepted by my step father as he saw it as disrespectful for others to see a mother and daughter socialising together as we are not of the same status.

    • Word count: 1387

    Whatever his viewpoints, values and needs were these would always be listened to and met. The views of women on the other hand were very much repressed. Fletcher, pointed out that both women and children were frequently exploited both inside and outside the family and conditions within the home were deplorably inadequate. ("The family and marriage of Britain") Women therefore were regarded as inferior to men and their main roles were as housewives looking after the home, mothers looking after the children, and as wives looking after their husbands. In several classic studies from the period 1950's to 1970s Michael Young and Peter Willmott mapped out the changing forms of family in Modern Britain.

    • Word count: 1424

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