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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. Assess the view that the functions of the education system is to select and prepare individuals for their future

    They believe that education is one of the main institutions within society and that it prepares individuals for adult society. From Durkheim's key terms it shows how functionalists believe that education is a type of secondary socialisation where we carry on learning the norms and values of society and children can therefore learn the expectations of these values. According to the functionalist view we learn the values of society as a group during our education and this is called our 'collective conscience'.

    • Word count: 1248
  2. Analyse and evaluate the relationship between religion and social change

    This relates to secondary socialisation, people's morals and values have changed from 100 years ago and are now socialised into believing there are other factors that are more important than religion. As society has evolved over time, religion has changed greatly. A social movement has occurred, where as society changes so does religion. Secularisation meaning the decline of religion has helped this social movement to take place. This has also encouraged lots of smaller religions to be formed instead of just the 19 main religions. There are denominations of each main religion which form lots of different types of religions.

    • Word count: 1274
  3. Examine some of the reasons for the growth of NRM(TM)s and why some people argue that traditional churches and denominations no longer meet people(TM)s needs.

    Nowadays people tend to focus more on industry and making money for themselves instead playing a big part in one community. Being part of an NRM is now more socially acceptable and people can relax more and live their own lives freely. Marginalisation has also encouraged the growth of NRM's. Weber argues that NRM's appeal to people outside mainstream society because they feel they have been denied the economic rewards they deserve; it gives these people a sense of well being.

    • Word count: 902
  4. 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
  5. 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."

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  6. Is the modern family breaking down or is it simply changing?

    Also, some single individuals shown in the data were once in nuclear families with children, which ended through either divorce or death, and the children had become dependant therefore moving away from home. The diversity of family and household types is contributed by the diversity in ethnic minority cultures. Roger Ballard published a book in 1982 titled 'South Asian Families', in which he studied Punjabi, Gujrati and Bangali families in England. His study found that the families were extended and highly patriarchal where all the family contributed to the domestic and wage earning tasks although it was clear that men and women's duties were greatly differentiated.

    • Word count: 2330
  7. 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
  8. 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.

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  9. Life-chances , of life expectancy for women, Patters of differing life chances for men and women in British society

    and class struggle is a motor of history. He also stated that class relationships are grounded in misuse (exploitation). Additionally, occupation has a vital role to play in people's lives. It is seen as the major source of wealth and incomes for the majority of the population. A man's occupation generally determines the amount of capital he will have. It has been stated that education is closely related to income. Education is also closely linked with occupation; therefore many differences have been found in the lifetime earnings of people with none, little, some and great education. if a child can stay in education long enough, he increases the life chances for himself and his family.

    • Word count: 908
  10. Evaluate the contribution of Marxist thought and understanding of the development of the family

    Engle's saw the development of the monogamous nuclear family as reflecting the needs of male property owners to ensure that their private property was being passed onto the heirs, and the monogamous nuclear family provided tight control on women since they could only be married to one person at a time so this eliminates the possibility of more wife's and making it difficult to decide which ones kids get the inheritance. However there is some room for criticism towards Engel's since his work is based on assumptions he has never seen a woman from the pre industrial age in his life so he can't make sounds judgements upon it.

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  11. 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
  12. Domestic Violence

    The women interviewed had left their abusive partners and had gone to a refuge. Dobash and Dobash argue that marriage legitimates violence against women by granting power and authority on husbands and dependency on wives. The findings from this research are that women do not report most incidents out of fear. Radical feminists interpret findings such as those from Dobash and Dobash as evidence of society being patriarchal and will only stop when women become more equal. Some men are victims of domestic violence from their wives, but these men are more unwilling to report attacks than women because of embarrassment and fear their reports will not be taken seriously.

    • Word count: 908
  13. 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
  14. Explain the relationship between family structure and industrialisation

    So when industrialisation occurred and people began moving to the city, Parsons saw this as meaning that the families' structure changed to an isolated nuclear family because people moved away from their extended family and out into the city for factory work. This meant that the family lost functions as specialised institutions were introduced such as the welfare state and education system. Parsons calls this structural differentiation, claiming that this meant that the modern nuclear family only had two functions left; these are primary socialisation, and the stabilising of adult personalities.

    • Word count: 935
  15. 'Examine the sociological view that home factors are the key in explaining working class underachievement.'

    Sociologists have also criticised the IQ test itself, saying that the tests are culturally biased. A number of sociologists imply that processes inside school such as labelling, streaming and subcultures are the key to explaining working class underachievement. It is shown that teachers tend to label their students, and there appears to be a pattern of negatively labelling students from working class backgrounds (E.g., labelling a student as unintelligent and thus will fail exams) and a given label often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy (A student who has been labelled as a failure will then go on to live up to that label, such as failing their exams).

    • Word count: 953
  16. Social control of women

    Nuns are stereotypically viewed as being sexually repressed women who transfer their sexual libidos into their religious beliefs. On the other hand becoming a nun can been seen as an act of protection from sexual gratification experienced by women in modern western societies. Holm and Bowker go as far as to suggest that religious organisations specially designed for women are the future. Modern Women's movement will separate the two genders and therefore remove oppression, while also enhancing a woman's sense of identity. Inequality can be seen in many major, mainstream religions such as Christianity, the Bible states that God created men in "the image and glory of God", whilst women were made for "the glory of men".

    • Word count: 804
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Assess the view that cults and sects inevitably turn into denominations and churches

    They simply ask that people be open to the experiences they offer. According to Roland Robinson (1970) the key difference between cults and sects is as follows. Sects believe they have a monopoly of the truth, while cults believe their teachings are just one of many paths of the truth. Cults are more tolerant of the beliefs of others and of the behaviour of their members. Roy Wallis (1974) developed this distinction between sects and cults. Where sects are exclusive, closed, tightly knit organizations, cults are more loosely organized and open to the outside world.

    • Word count: 974
  21. Critically examine the relationship between gender, religious participation and religious organisations

    These patterns appear to hold true throughout life, irrespective of the type of religious organisation or religious belief. Miller and Hoffmann believe that females have a lower rate of participation in paid work and this, it is argued, gives women more time for church related activities, and more need for a source of personal identity and commitment. They also have higher rates of participation in child-rearing which also increases religiosity because it coincides with a concern for family well-being. Greeley (1992)

    • Word count: 855
  22. Family and Household

    From personal perspectives I feel that within my own home women take on the burden of domestic labour. As I am from a Muslim background, I am intrigued to discover whether this patriarchal ideology is predominating within other sections of society. Context and concept My first context feminist sociologists Delphy and Leonard argue 'the family is a patriarchal institution' through which men dominate and exploit women. They admit that most men do some housework, but women usually undertake such tasks due to the media's portrayal of the ideal wife and mother.

    • Word count: 579
  23. Discuss the view that the modern family is becoming more diverse

    Over the last several decades Britain has observed alterations to family kinship and the way it has dramatically changed that would have been unheard of in earlier generations. From feminists to Marxists, everyone has some form of opinion, criticism and argument about what the role of the family has to play in society and what the family consists of. In today's society, there are many different forms of families, as mentioned above, there is the nuclear family that was seen as a positive conform to the requirement of the modern society.

    • Word count: 2445
  24. Victoria Climbie

    Haringey social worker, Lisa Arthurworrey and PC Karen Jones are assigned to case. They cancel home visit after hearing scabies story. July 24th, back at the hospital with scalding to her head and face. Doctors immediately suspects it's deliberate but Kouao tell Pc Jones and Arthurworrey that she did but to stop her itching the scabies sores. August 6th Victoria is discharged - authorities believe Kouao's excuses and Victoria returns home with Kouao and Manning. October-January 2000 Manning forces Victoria to sleep in a bin liner in the bath every night. November 1999, Kouao tells police that Manning has sexually abused Victoria.

    • Word count: 857
  25. 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

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