Outline and evaluate the view that state policies have a positive effect on family life
Patrick Tucker Outline and evaluate the view that state policies have a positive effect on family life [33 marks] State policy that influences family life refers to the policies and initiatives introduced by governments that have an effect on how family life functions. This policy can affect families either directly or indirectly; direct referring to policy regarding marriage and divorce, for example, and indirect policy referring to that regarding things such as housing and education. Over the past 30 years, the UK has seen a diverse stance on family policy—reflected by the changes in government over this period. The new right governments of Thatcher and Major saw the breakdown of families as being instrumental of a culture in decline. Thatcher saw the increase of family types that differed from the usual nuclear family as being concerning; an interesting stance, considering being the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom doesn’t fit into the traditional view of an expressive mother. However, the new right governments can be seen to have had a positive effect on family life, with examples coming from things such as the Child Support Agency—a body designed to ensure child maintenance was paid by absent parents. In theory, this would have had a massively positive effect on family life for all those who suffered the blight of an absentee parent; but, in practice, it was
Assess the Marxist View of the Role of the Family.
ASSESS THE MARXIST VIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY (24 MARKS) Marxism is a conflict theory that sees society as being based on class divisions and exploitation. Marxists see all institutions in capitalist society as contributing to the maintenance of exploitation. The family is seen as an oppressive institution that performs several important functions for capitalism. According to Engels (1884), a Marxist, a man wants to know that the children in his family are his own children, so this has led to monogamous marriages. If a man knows that the children are his, his money and property (wealth) are then kept in his family, meaning that when he dies his children would get the money and the property. This essentially means that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor (circle of deprivation) as a family’s wealth would stay in the family and will not be shared with anyone who is outside that family. For example, if a family is from a middle- class background, the children within that family will remain rich as they will inherit their family’s wealth. If a family, however, is from a working-class background, the children would remain poor as their family’s status would be what determines their status later on in life. So, it seems as though the role of the family is to benefit capitalism because as the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. However, having said that,
Examine the reasons for changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in the last forty years.
Emmanuel Mends Sociology Marie Gettings Examine the reasons for changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in the last forty years. 24 marks There are many reasons for the changing patterns in marriage, divorce and cohabitation in our modern era of the 21st century. Here are some reasons to somewhat explain the reasons for the following. Item A states that “Only half as many people are getting married, lone- parent families have increased threefold, children born outside marriage has quadrupled in number and the number of divorces have trebled. In addition to this, item B goes on to further support the evidence given in item A. It states “marriage is a normal and expected part of women’s lives in Western society. However, although the vast majority of women will expect to marry at some time and at least once, in recent years there has been some decline in the popularity of marriage”. The following evidences’ given above greatly illustrate how the idea of marriage has been idealised and also somewhat diminished from society in the last forty years. In recent years there has been a significant fall in the number of first time marriages, with the figures substantially declining from 480000 in 1972 to 306000 in 2000. Further evidence suggests “the average age of first marriage rose by seven years between 1971 and 2005 when it was 32 years for men
Assess sociological explanations of the nature and extent of family diversity today
Assess sociological explanations of the nature and extent of family diversity today (24 marks) Rhona and Robert Rapoport (1982) argue that diversity is of central importance in understanding family life today. They believe that we have moved away from the traditional nuclear family as the dominant family type, to a range of different diverse types. Families in Britain have adapted to a pluralistic society; a society in which cultures and lifestyles are more diverse. In their view, family diversification represents greater freedom of choice and the widespread acceptance of different cultures and ways of life. Unlike the New Right, the Rapoports see diversity as a response to people different needs and wishes, not as abnormal or deviation from the assumed norm of the nuclear family. The Rapoports identify five different types of family diversity. Organisational diversity refers to the differences in the ways family roles are organised. For example, some couples have joint conjugal roles and others have segregated conjugal roles. Cultural diversity is the belief that different cultural, religious and ethnic groups have different family structures. Social class diversity is the differences in family structure that are partly the result of income differences between households of different classes. Life stage diversity states that family structures differ according to the stage
Assess the view that the growth of family diversity has led to the decline of the traditional nuclear family.
Bethan Ayers 2 D Sociology Essay Assess the view that the growth of family diversity has led to the decline of the traditional nuclear family. (24marks) Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together in an intimate relationship, particularly an emotionally and/or sexually intimate one, on a long-term or permanent basis. Before 1970, cohabitation was illegal in certain countries e.g. America. Due to a change in the law, Cohabitation is now a common pattern among people around the world, as well as sex/birth outside of marriage, leaving at least 50% to 60% of couples cohabitating, starting from the late 1990’s. This leads to the amount of traditional nuclear families decreasing as people want to live in companionship as nearly half the amount of marriages end in divorce, also cohabiting is an easier way as it’s much cheaper and doesn’t cause much hassle. The New Right see the decline of the traditional nuclear family and the growth of family diversity as negative trends in modern society. From the New Right perspective, these changes are the cause of many social problems in Britain today. Seeing as in today’s society there is plenty of access to contraception, married couples/couples in general are not having children for various reasons which has led to the decline of the traditional nuclear family, also known as the ‘Cereal
Describe and discuss the Functionalist perspective in relation to the family.
Amie Wright Mrs Livings Sociology. Describe and discuss the Functionalist perspective in relation to the family. The Functionalist view of the family is the idea of the nuclear family, which involves a husband and wife, with their children. Within in the family unit, each member has a role, this is like the Functionalist view on society, that every part of society has a certain function, with the analogy of the body, and the different parts work together to allow society to function efficiently. The Husband in the family has an instrumental role, geared towards working hard and achieving at work, he is the bread winner for the family, and the Wife, an expressive role, which involves primary socialisation of the children and meeting the family’s emotional needs, she is the homemaker and a full time house-wife, rather than a wage earner. These roles in the family are what sociologists call segregated conjugal roles. This means that the husband and wife spend their days, as well as leisure time apart. Functionalists argue that this division of labour is biologically suited to the husband and wife, with women being naturally suited to nurturing and caring, and men being able to provide for the family. Functionalists believe that this
To investigate how the ideology of childhood has changed over the years, I interviewed my granddad who is in his 60s,
What has happened to childhood? Childhood in its simplest term is defined as the period of time that a person is a child, for a something that sounds so simple childhood is an extremely complex concept. No-one’s childhood is ever the same, similar, yes! But our childhood experiences are unique. Affected by many factors such as; personal experiences, personality, restraints (money, rules, laws) , period born, place that we were born, gender etc… . Childhood is understood to be social constructed, therefore the definition of an ‘ideal’ childhood never says the same for long even in the same society expectations of childhood is constantly evolving, circumstances change; new laws are passed, enhancements in science and technology, war all contribute to the social construction of childhood. It is thought as years have passed that the childhood has improved; more toys, more places to go, better education, entering a technological era, greater understanding of health, all are a part of the life we all now know. However, no matter how many toys, recent gadgets, new clothes a child is given is it really any consolation to the loss of quality time with their parents? Money does not grow on trees, and in recent years percentage of both parents having to work has increased dramatically, you are far less likely to see a stay at home mum but two working parents that
Using the item and your own knowledge, assess the contribution of feminist sociologists to the understanding of family roles and relationships
. Using the item and your own knowledge, assess the contribution of feminist sociologists to the understanding of family roles and relationships. When understanding the roles of the family and relationships there are many different views. Feminist take the negative view of the family and argue that relationships and the family are gender based. An example of the idea that relationships are gender based is the fact that women do most of the domestic labour. This is referred to in item 2b. Feminists also argue that we live in a patriarchal society. The 3 types of feminists (Liberal, Radical and Marxist), all take different views. Liberal feminists fight for more equality between men and women. This supports the negative view of the family and relationships because there view shows that men and women are unequal. Radical feminists believe that the main rival of women is patriarchy, which guarantees male domination and the control of women at work and in the home. In their view men inflict physical and sexual violence over women. This shows the negative view of the family and relationships. Marxist feminists believe social class affects the life chances of women; it is a key factor in the relationship between men and women. They believe capitalism has lead to increase of conflicts between the sexes and that introducing communism would solve this. Under capitalism women are
Assess the view that marriage is no longer a popular institution in todays postmodernist society
Assess the view that marriage is no longer a popular institution in today’s postmodernist society According to Marxists and functionalists, in modern society an individual’s identity is largely fixed and can be generalised. Marxists see our identity as stemming from our class position, while functionalists see it as a result of being socialised into a shared culture. However, some sociologists believe we are now moving into a new and very different type of society. The social change, that began to accelerate 300 years ago, has continued at such a pace that the theories and assumptions we had about modern society no longer explain the society we find around us. A postmodern society is a post-industrial society in which change is increasingly rapid, where people have lost faith in the ability of science to bring about progress. While the Rapoports identify a range of types of family diversity, postmodernists such as David Cheal (1993) go much further. Postmodernists argue that we no longer live in the ‘modern’ world, with its predictable, orderly structures. Instead, society has entered a new chaotic postmodern stage where in today’s society family structures are fragmented and individuals have much more choice in their lifestyles, personal relationships, and family arrangements. As a result family life has become more diverse than even the Rapoports recognise. In
Sociology Family Unit - Family Concepts and Definitions
Emma Rudd BMA 26th November Sociology – Family Unit - Family Concepts and Definitions What is the Family? The majority of the world’s population experience a form of family; this can involve a wide variety of options. For example, in the Toda culture in India a woman may be simultaneously married to several men at the same time. In the Netherlands gay couples can marry, in Bali twins can marry, as it is believed that twins have already been intimate in the womb, in the Banaro culture of New Guinea the husband is forbidden to have sex with his wife until she has born a child by another man chosen specifically for this purpose. In Western culture the nuclear family (both parents and children) is seen as the natural / desirable way to live. This is known as the dominant ideology. Even though there are diverse types of families in Western culture the nuclear family is seen as the ‘best’. Nuclear and Extended Families There are a number of characteristics that are associated with the nuclear family. They are as follows: It is a small compact structure that is composed of a mother, father and usually two or three children, who are biologically related. It is assumed that the relationship between the adults is heterosexual. The nuclear family is reinforced by marriage; it is assumed that marriage encourages fidelity and therefore family stability. There is