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    im sitting the sociology OCR G672 on wednesday can anybody help me, i dont know what to put in my answers on the family there is too much to learn!
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    It is actually fairly simple stuff pretty much ensure you know about ageing population, why marriage rates are declining, why cohabitation/lone parent families and other types are increasing, functions of the nuclear family, and demographic changes which are pretty much laws and ageing population also how roles in the family have changed. Also ensure you know why family sizes have declined.
    For most of the possible essays you can learn similar points for. For demographic changes and the changes in family types and sizes you can state that this is due to increasing independence for women in the UK due to the introduction of Equal pay act and sex discrimination acts during the 70's, you can also use secularisation in these essays which is the decline in religious beliefs use of statistics here would be useful, all you need to do is reword explanations and apply here are a few example essays I have done they may still need a bit of work on them.

    Identify and explain two reasons for the increase in cohabitation in the contemporary UK
    A reason for the rise in cohabitation in the UK in the UK is due to the decline in negative stigmatisation over the last 50 years. Evidence for this decline comes from a study which found that over 1/3 of women aged 60+ disagreed with cohabitation whereas, less than 10% of women under the age of 30 disagreed with cohabitation. This decline may be as a result of secularisation, as this negative stigma may have been the result of religious beliefs meaning that it was considered a sin to have a sexual relationship with someone before marriage. Due to this many people now cohabitate rather than become married as it is no longer stigmatised within society and marriage is seen as an unnecessary ceremony by some in the UK today. Another factor to take into consideration with secularisation is that this has also reduced the negative stigma towards homosexuality which has resulted in many homosexual couples cohabitating in modern day society. To add to this it is also known that before the decline in negative stigmatisation people were still cohabitating but lied about being married or if homosexual saying they were living with a friend or relative but when this stigmatisation declined many people began to be honest about living with their partner.


    Another reason for the increase in cohabitation are the changes in legislation that resulted in creating more independency for women. The 1970 equal pay and 1975 sex discrimination acts made it easier for couples to gain a divorce as well as creating further independency for women by making it easier for them to develop careers. These laws and regulation combined with post-modern idea of individualism could have resulted in people cohabitating more as those laws allowed women to become independent and therefore have more freedom of choice. Having a freedom of choice means that people are able to make their own decisions regarding living situations and relationships. Gibson states that the concept of personal satisfaction and gain in all aspects of peoples live is influencing feelings of obligation to decrease. This has resulted in both men and women no longer feeling the need to commit themselves to get married even if they love each other and in some cases even if they have a child together but rather to cohabitate as they may prefer this living situation over marriage, as this gives them more freedom to change from this relationship to the next relationship and so on, without going through the stressful process of legally breaking up with your partner.

    Identify and explain two reasons for the increase in single-person households over the past 30 years.
    A reason for the increase in single-parent families could be the decline in negative stigmatisation towards having children outside of marriage. The cause for this decline may be secularisation as it was religious beliefs that resulted in this view of having a child out of wed lock that made people consider it as a sin. In 2013, out of 56,000,000 people 25% of those said they did not have a religion and roughly 9% did not state, furthermore no religion births are rising by 5.4million whilst Christian births are declining by 5.3million, indicating that religion is in fact declining. Before this decline in religious beliefs if a woman got pregnant out of marriage they would feel more inclined towards marrying the father of their child in order to avoid being labelled and discriminated against in society even if the relationship was not a loving one. Also due to this decline in negative stigma towards single mothers/fathers this may have also acted towards the rise in divorce rates as many people would stay married due to the children and the fact that society viewed single parents as bad, so with this decline many couples who had children may have divorced as they would no longer be discriminated against by others.

    The equal pay act (1970) and sex discrimination act (1975) now known as the equal rights act (2010) resulted in increased independence for women as these laws allowed women to become financially independent. This act resulted in more women getting divorces as they no longer needed the financial stability provided by their husbands to support their family. This also has resulted in women developing careers and when they get pregnant they do not feel the need to marry the father as they do not need the financial support of a man to raise their child/children. As women used to marry for reasons other than love due to being dependent on men they now can wait until they fall in love to get married, this has resulted in many women marrying later in life which means that this could account more the rise in single person households. Furthermore, women wait longer to settle down and get married as they enter further education and want to progress in their careers before settling down and getting married.


    For 33 markers this is when you need to bring in functionalism, Marxism, feminism, the New right and Post modernism. It is possible to be asked about the New Labour views on diversity but if this isn't directly asked leave new labour out just familiarise yourself with it just in case.

    Outline and discuss the view that there is a ‘dark side’ to family life. 31/33 marks
    The dark side of the family consists of the parts of family life that are hidden, these parts involves physical, mental and verbal abuse towards family members. The dark side of the family was not evident in society for a long time, with many believing that this violence did not exist, but recently evident shows that this domestic abuse is more prominent in society than many people believed, for example, Nazroo’s research indicates that both genders are victims of abuse and that wives often live in fear of men’s potential domestic violence or threats, while husbands rarely feel frightened or intimidated by their wives’ potential for violence.

    Some sociologists believe that the family is a unit of abuse due to recent statistics showing that 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse at one point in their lives and 1 in 7 men are at some point a victim of domestic abuse. According to many feminists violence exists in the family due to society being patriarchal. Radical feminists would claim that men are violent towards women in order to show that the man has the power in the family, and to oppress women and force them to do the tasks the man wants, such as cooking, cleaning, looking after the children and sexual pleasure. However, some sociologists such as Parsons, may argue that this violence towards women exists due to men wanting some relief from work at the end of the day, for example, men work all day and may get extremely stressed but not be able to relieve this while at work as they do not want to lose their jobs so when they come home they take this stress out on their wives in the form of verbal or physical abuse so that they will feel relieved and able to relax, this is related to the warm bath theory, which states that the family is a source of relaxation for the man as when they come home their wife does dinner for him so that he can spend the evening relaxing from a hard days work. Some sociologists would use this evidence of the dark side of the family to criticise functionalists, as many believe that when domestic abuse exists in any family structure even nuclear that it is no longer functional, showing that functionalist views of the nuclear family being functional is incorrect. However, functionalists would argue back that the nuclear family is the best family structure for society and despite an existence of the dark side of the family, this family structure is still functional and the family can resolve this issue.

    It is often questioned as to why these women stay in their marriages when they are being abused, there are many reasons for this. One of these reasons may be that they still love their husband and so make excuses for them, such as, this isn’t him he is going through a tough time at the moment, well I didn’t do what he asked me to, I am not a good enough wife for him, he still loves me and he didn’t mean it. Another reason is that the husband may use their children against her, for example, saying if you leave me I will hurt them, or I will make it so that you will never see your children again. Some women may be too frightened to leave, believing that if they go their husband will find them and possibly hurt them more than they already have or even kill them. These reasons also exist for men who are abused by their wives, but men don’t tend to speak up about the abuse for reasons such as, pride, the embarrassment of people knowing they were abused by their wives.

    Even though there are few studies on child abuse, there is a large presence of this within society, which can be seen from news articles for example, Baby P, and Daniel Pelka who both died as a result of abuse from their mothers. Daniel Pelka was four years old when he died from a head injury but before this he had been starved and beaten for months by his mother and her husband. In cases of child abuse, 64% of the time the mother is involved, and 36.8% of the time the father is involved. There are many reasons as to why the mother may be more involved in child abuse cases than the father, this may be due to the roles within the family whereby, the wife is the homemaker and the husband is the breadwinner, meaning the wife is going to spend more time with her children than the father so be most likely to suffer from depression and stress from looking after her children, leading to her taking this out on the children as she has no way to relieve this. Also the mother may blame her children for her having to give up her career causing her to become aggressive towards her children. Also mothers go through a lot of hormonal changes during her pregnancy which may lead to post-partum depression which causes recurring thoughts of harming their children which can lead to some mothers losing control and causing these thoughts to influence their actions towards their children leading to child abuse and possible killing of her child.

    Outline and evaluate feminist views of relationships between men and women in family life. 29/33 marks (needs expansion on radical feminism and some more evidence)
    Feminists are a group of people who believe that men and women should be treated as equals and have equal rights. However, they believe that men and women are not equal in society, as women are still treated as the inferior sex. This is due to society still being patriarchal as when we look at the government the prime minister is male and most of the members of parliament are male, and in businesses it is the men who are usually the managers, CEO’s and members of a board, although there are some women but it is far more difficult for a women to obtain this position than a man. There are three main types of feminists; liberal feminists; radical feminists; and Marxist feminists.

    Liberal feminists believe that in the family the conjugal roles should be equally shared among the husband and wife. However, this does not appear to be the case, it appears that even when women work they still do the majority of housework, while looking after the children which means rather than just having their traditional role of homemaker they are also sharing the role of breadwinner which means that they are having a triple shift role, whilst the man does minimal housework and childcare. This means that roles in the family are still not symmetrical. Anne Oakley (1974) has done research that shows that there is an existence of strong segregated roles, and that women did the majority of housework. Also despite that large-scale surveys suggest that men do an equal amount of housework as women do in the family, Mary Boulton (1983) suggests that it is more likely that the amount of housework men do is greatly over-exaggerated in these surveys. An issue with this evidence is that it is 30 years outdated and family life has changed considerably since then with far more women having careers which are higher up in businesses, and consume more of their time and more equal rights laws and regulations existing, making it so that women have equal opportunities as men which may mean that there are more symmetrical families than there was when this research was conducted. However, even in modern society there is still a strong existence of segregated roles within families but it is also evident that these roles are changing as more women find careers.

    Radical feminists believe that in the family, women should have more power than men, but the patriarchal system oppresses women, so that men can maintain their power which means that men and women’s roles are seen as not equal by radical feminists as long as men maintain their power in society.

    Marxist feminists believe that class effects the role of men and women in the family and that when middle class is compared with working class it will be found that in the working class there is a stronger existence of segregated roles and that in the middle class there will be a stronger existence of symmetrical roles as it is more likely for the middle class to have both the man and the woman working in offices full time and in the working class the man may work full time and the woman may work part time or stay at home. However, there is evidence to that this assumption of middle class families being more symmetrical is false. Stephen Edgell (1980) found that even middle-class families are likely to have segregated relationships. However, this research is over 30 years outdated so is not a reliable source, as more women have careers now in the middle-class whereas, 30 years ago the man would be more likely to be the only one working giving the family the status of middle-class, which may mean that if research was conducted now it may be found that the level of segregated relationships has declined and the amount of symmetrical families has increased.

    In modern day society feminists still view men and women’s relationships within the family as segregated with men possessing the power, as it is the man who earns the majority of money and woman still do the majority of housework, this exists even when women earn the same amount as a man or more. Some feminists feel that as long as society remains patriarchal that men and women will remain segregated, due to the oppression of women. Due to this patriarchal society women tend to remain lower down in businesses than men due to maternity leave and sexism, in theory this should not effect a women’s position in her career but in practice this does as when men are compared to women. The fact that it is the women who gets maternity leave shows that men still view women as the main child carer, as it is not necessary for a woman to have that much time off of work after having a child, either parent could have a year off of work to care for the child but the patriarchal system makes it so that the woman is the only parent able to do this, as it only allows the father a couple weeks off of work. Also, as woman are allowed maternity leave this also makes them miss opportunities for promotion so while they are off of work the man may receive promotions which may result in a higher workload so their husband may do less housework, as they view their part as the breadwinner as more significant than their wife’s career, as they will be making a larger financial contribution which results in the wife doing more housework.

    Outline and evaluate functionalist views of the role of the family in society. 29/33 marks
    Functionalists believe in a harmonious society but believe this can only be achieved through the nuclear family. This is due to the nuclear family providing the right value consensus in order for children to enter society as adults who are socially acceptable which will prevent conflict occurring. Functionalists also believe that society operates like the human body which means that if one part of breaks chaos can break out.

    Functionalists believe that the nuclear family is essential for society to remain harmonious as when this family breaks down they can no longer provide the functions required for this. Murdock stated that there are four functions provided by the nuclear family that are essential for a harmonious society; sexual; educational; economical; and reproductive. These functions help to socialise children into society as socially acceptable adults and functional workers who will continue to operate society efficiently and harmoniously.

    Parsons also stated that there are two main functions of a nuclear family. One of which is socialisation as both parents are required in order for a child to learn societies norms, values and in order to develop their own identity. Functionalists believe one parent cannot do this adequately and that one parent would cause the child to under achieve and become a criminal delinquent causing chaos in society. Another function is stabilisation as the nuclear family provide the right value consensus resulting in stable children which will help to maintain a harmonious society.

    Functionalists believe the main family is nuclear. However, Rapoport et al, criticise this functionalist view as statistics show that this was not even true in 1978 with only 20% of families fitting this ideal. This shows us that the functionalist view of nuclear families resulting in a harmonious society whilst others cause chaos is untrue as for a long time the majority of families have not been nuclear in society yet society is still functional.

    Functionalists believe that one parent families are unsuitable as they cannot provide the right consensus for a child to group up which will lead to under achievement and criminal delinquency as previously stated. A reason for this is that one parent may not care for the child especially if this child was conceived when the mother was a teenager. However, Burghes and Browns study of 31 mothers who conceived their children as teenagers showed that these mothers cared about their children and wanted to look after them and all of them planned to go back into education or find employment once their child entered primary school.

    The functionalist view is very Western as there are many cultures that have always had a completely different type of family yet they are relatively harmonious. Some cultures allow polygamy which is when a person can have many husbands or wives and these families tend to work as polyandry allows a wife to marry a man and his brothers which means that she will be very well provided for financially and emotionally.

    The functionalist view that the nuclear family is need for society to be harmonious is not only untrue due to diversity in the UK but also due to the dark side of the family. This dark side of the family is the part of the family that is hidden from society which involves child abuse and domestic abuse, until recently this side of the family was not accounted for but now many people are much more aware of this existing. It is argued that in a nuclear family where abuse exists this family cannot be functional and would be better off if broken apart as it can have psychological effects on children such as, under achievement in education, closing themselves off from others in society, which would result in them not being socialised into society properly and them being bad for society when they are older. However, functionalists argue here that the nuclear family is still the most functional family even if abuse exists and that this issue should be resolved whilst maintaining this family structure.

    Here is one that I haven't had marked

    Outline and evaluate sociological views of family diversity. [33]

    Functionalist’s believe that society functions like the human body with each individual unit being vital to maintaining a functional society. This means that functionalists believe that the only functional family in society is the nuclear family and that any other type will cause chaos in society. This is due to this being the only type of family which can provide the correct value consensus in order to socialise children into society as adults who are good workers. The New Right is similar to that of functionalist’s stating that men are required to socialise son’s into society as women are not a suitable role model for son’s and without this father figure son’s will be likely to become social delinquents as stated by Murray. However, evidence from Burghes and Browns study shows us that single mother’s care a lot about their children and will look after them properly and when they enter education most of these mothers plan on gaining further education or starting a career, meaning that women can be a suitable role model for children and that there is no real need for the nuclear family in society.
    Marxist’s believe that the nuclear family is essential to the ruling class in socialising children to become controllable workers as their parents will pass on the norms and values of the ruling class ideology which will help with the continuation of a false class consciousness. This will benefit the ruling classes as it would allow them to continue being able to exploit the working class by paying them less than their true value and allowing the ruling class to make a profit which in turn will help with the continuation of the capitalist system. This means that family diversity would result in children being inadequately socialised in that they will not have this false class consciousness meaning that this would cause a revolution against the capitalist system as the working classes would have become class conscious.

    The New Right supports Marxist and Functionalist views that family diversity is not beneficial to society. This is due to the belief that lone-parent families headed by a mother are unable to socialise their son’s appropriately as without the father figure son’s will not learn the value of work nor see this as a norm and so are more likely to become criminals and social delinquents, according to Murray. However, Murray’s view although stated within the last 30 years is fairly outdated as in modern society women go out to work so should be fully capable of being a good role model for their children to be able to learn the norms and values of working as an adult. Burghes and Brown provides evidence to support lone parent families headed by mothers as they found that single mothers would look after their children full time and when their children entered education would then go on to further education or start a career meaning that mothers would be there to teach their children norms and values before education and then would be able to show them the norms of going to work.

    However, feminists would argue that the nuclear family helps to oppress women as it supports patriarchy and allows men to exploit women as they can use them as free labour. This is due to the women doing the housework, cooking and childcare whilst the man goes out to work and earns money. Furthermore, as men earn the money they also feel they have control over this money and due to this can use this power to control women as they may buy them new clothes and cookers. Also within the family if a woman does not conform to her role her husband may physically or mentally abuse her in order to suppress her and make her conform. To add to this although women have equal rights the family unit can cause women to not use these rights as they are oppressed by the fact they have children who they need to look after and their husbands may not allow them to go out to work stating that they are their wife and they should stay at home and may threaten to take their children away in order to do this. So feminists would conclude that family diversity is beneficial to women as it would allow women to become equal to men due to the patriarchal system being broken down.

    Postmodernists believe that there is no one type of family in society and that society is extremely diverse in terms of the family with all of them having different structures and roles. They believe in individualism and choice and believe that in some cases the nuclear family is better off broken apart as people may be far happier living a different lifestyle. Evidence has shown that when someone has divorced and remarried and started a career they were far happier than they were when in the nuclear family structure and conforming to their traditional role.

    I have more essays if you want to have a look at them
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    thank you this has helped alot if you have any more essays they would be very helpful!!!
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    (Original post by tasha212)
    It is actually fairly simple stuff pretty much ensure you know about ageing population, why marriage rates are declining, why cohabitation/lone parent families and other types are increasing, functions of the nuclear family, and demographic changes which are pretty much laws and ageing population also how roles in the family have changed. Also ensure you know why family sizes have declined.
    For most of the possible essays you can learn similar points for. For demographic changes and the changes in family types and sizes you can state that this is due to increasing independence for women in the UK due to the introduction of Equal pay act and sex discrimination acts during the 70's, you can also use secularisation in these essays which is the decline in religious beliefs use of statistics here would be useful, all you need to do is reword explanations and apply here are a few example essays I have done they may still need a bit of work on them.

    Identify and explain two reasons for the increase in cohabitation in the contemporary UK
    A reason for the rise in cohabitation in the UK in the UK is due to the decline in negative stigmatisation over the last 50 years. Evidence for this decline comes from a study which found that over 1/3 of women aged 60+ disagreed with cohabitation whereas, less than 10% of women under the age of 30 disagreed with cohabitation. This decline may be as a result of secularisation, as this negative stigma may have been the result of religious beliefs meaning that it was considered a sin to have a sexual relationship with someone before marriage. Due to this many people now cohabitate rather than become married as it is no longer stigmatised within society and marriage is seen as an unnecessary ceremony by some in the UK today. Another factor to take into consideration with secularisation is that this has also reduced the negative stigma towards homosexuality which has resulted in many homosexual couples cohabitating in modern day society. To add to this it is also known that before the decline in negative stigmatisation people were still cohabitating but lied about being married or if homosexual saying they were living with a friend or relative but when this stigmatisation declined many people began to be honest about living with their partner.


    Another reason for the increase in cohabitation are the changes in legislation that resulted in creating more independency for women. The 1970 equal pay and 1975 sex discrimination acts made it easier for couples to gain a divorce as well as creating further independency for women by making it easier for them to develop careers. These laws and regulation combined with post-modern idea of individualism could have resulted in people cohabitating more as those laws allowed women to become independent and therefore have more freedom of choice. Having a freedom of choice means that people are able to make their own decisions regarding living situations and relationships. Gibson states that the concept of personal satisfaction and gain in all aspects of peoples live is influencing feelings of obligation to decrease. This has resulted in both men and women no longer feeling the need to commit themselves to get married even if they love each other and in some cases even if they have a child together but rather to cohabitate as they may prefer this living situation over marriage, as this gives them more freedom to change from this relationship to the next relationship and so on, without going through the stressful process of legally breaking up with your partner.

    Identify and explain two reasons for the increase in single-person households over the past 30 years.
    A reason for the increase in single-parent families could be the decline in negative stigmatisation towards having children outside of marriage. The cause for this decline may be secularisation as it was religious beliefs that resulted in this view of having a child out of wed lock that made people consider it as a sin. In 2013, out of 56,000,000 people 25% of those said they did not have a religion and roughly 9% did not state, furthermore no religion births are rising by 5.4million whilst Christian births are declining by 5.3million, indicating that religion is in fact declining. Before this decline in religious beliefs if a woman got pregnant out of marriage they would feel more inclined towards marrying the father of their child in order to avoid being labelled and discriminated against in society even if the relationship was not a loving one. Also due to this decline in negative stigma towards single mothers/fathers this may have also acted towards the rise in divorce rates as many people would stay married due to the children and the fact that society viewed single parents as bad, so with this decline many couples who had children may have divorced as they would no longer be discriminated against by others.

    The equal pay act (1970) and sex discrimination act (1975) now known as the equal rights act (2010) resulted in increased independence for women as these laws allowed women to become financially independent. This act resulted in more women getting divorces as they no longer needed the financial stability provided by their husbands to support their family. This also has resulted in women developing careers and when they get pregnant they do not feel the need to marry the father as they do not need the financial support of a man to raise their child/children. As women used to marry for reasons other than love due to being dependent on men they now can wait until they fall in love to get married, this has resulted in many women marrying later in life which means that this could account more the rise in single person households. Furthermore, women wait longer to settle down and get married as they enter further education and want to progress in their careers before settling down and getting married.


    For 33 markers this is when you need to bring in functionalism, Marxism, feminism, the New right and Post modernism. It is possible to be asked about the New Labour views on diversity but if this isn't directly asked leave new labour out just familiarise yourself with it just in case.

    Outline and discuss the view that there is a ‘dark side’ to family life. 31/33 marks
    The dark side of the family consists of the parts of family life that are hidden, these parts involves physical, mental and verbal abuse towards family members. The dark side of the family was not evident in society for a long time, with many believing that this violence did not exist, but recently evident shows that this domestic abuse is more prominent in society than many people believed, for example, Nazroo’s research indicates that both genders are victims of abuse and that wives often live in fear of men’s potential domestic violence or threats, while husbands rarely feel frightened or intimidated by their wives’ potential for violence.

    Some sociologists believe that the family is a unit of abuse due to recent statistics showing that 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic abuse at one point in their lives and 1 in 7 men are at some point a victim of domestic abuse. According to many feminists violence exists in the family due to society being patriarchal. Radical feminists would claim that men are violent towards women in order to show that the man has the power in the family, and to oppress women and force them to do the tasks the man wants, such as cooking, cleaning, looking after the children and sexual pleasure. However, some sociologists such as Parsons, may argue that this violence towards women exists due to men wanting some relief from work at the end of the day, for example, men work all day and may get extremely stressed but not be able to relieve this while at work as they do not want to lose their jobs so when they come home they take this stress out on their wives in the form of verbal or physical abuse so that they will feel relieved and able to relax, this is related to the warm bath theory, which states that the family is a source of relaxation for the man as when they come home their wife does dinner for him so that he can spend the evening relaxing from a hard days work. Some sociologists would use this evidence of the dark side of the family to criticise functionalists, as many believe that when domestic abuse exists in any family structure even nuclear that it is no longer functional, showing that functionalist views of the nuclear family being functional is incorrect. However, functionalists would argue back that the nuclear family is the best family structure for society and despite an existence of the dark side of the family, this family structure is still functional and the family can resolve this issue.

    It is often questioned as to why these women stay in their marriages when they are being abused, there are many reasons for this. One of these reasons may be that they still love their husband and so make excuses for them, such as, this isn’t him he is going through a tough time at the moment, well I didn’t do what he asked me to, I am not a good enough wife for him, he still loves me and he didn’t mean it. Another reason is that the husband may use their children against her, for example, saying if you leave me I will hurt them, or I will make it so that you will never see your children again. Some women may be too frightened to leave, believing that if they go their husband will find them and possibly hurt them more than they already have or even kill them. These reasons also exist for men who are abused by their wives, but men don’t tend to speak up about the abuse for reasons such as, pride, the embarrassment of people knowing they were abused by their wives.

    Even though there are few studies on child abuse, there is a large presence of this within society, which can be seen from news articles for example, Baby P, and Daniel Pelka who both died as a result of abuse from their mothers. Daniel Pelka was four years old when he died from a head injury but before this he had been starved and beaten for months by his mother and her husband. In cases of child abuse, 64% of the time the mother is involved, and 36.8% of the time the father is involved. There are many reasons as to why the mother may be more involved in child abuse cases than the father, this may be due to the roles within the family whereby, the wife is the homemaker and the husband is the breadwinner, meaning the wife is going to spend more time with her children than the father so be most likely to suffer from depression and stress from looking after her children, leading to her taking this out on the children as she has no way to relieve this. Also the mother may blame her children for her having to give up her career causing her to become aggressive towards her children. Also mothers go through a lot of hormonal changes during her pregnancy which may lead to post-partum depression which causes recurring thoughts of harming their children which can lead to some mothers losing control and causing these thoughts to influence their actions towards their children leading to child abuse and possible killing of her child.

    Outline and evaluate feminist views of relationships between men and women in family life. 29/33 marks (needs expansion on radical feminism and some more evidence)
    Feminists are a group of people who believe that men and women should be treated as equals and have equal rights. However, they believe that men and women are not equal in society, as women are still treated as the inferior sex. This is due to society still being patriarchal as when we look at the government the prime minister is male and most of the members of parliament are male, and in businesses it is the men who are usually the managers, CEO’s and members of a board, although there are some women but it is far more difficult for a women to obtain this position than a man. There are three main types of feminists; liberal feminists; radical feminists; and Marxist feminists.

    Liberal feminists believe that in the family the conjugal roles should be equally shared among the husband and wife. However, this does not appear to be the case, it appears that even when women work they still do the majority of housework, while looking after the children which means rather than just having their traditional role of homemaker they are also sharing the role of breadwinner which means that they are having a triple shift role, whilst the man does minimal housework and childcare. This means that roles in the family are still not symmetrical. Anne Oakley (1974) has done research that shows that there is an existence of strong segregated roles, and that women did the majority of housework. Also despite that large-scale surveys suggest that men do an equal amount of housework as women do in the family, Mary Boulton (1983) suggests that it is more likely that the amount of housework men do is greatly over-exaggerated in these surveys. An issue with this evidence is that it is 30 years outdated and family life has changed considerably since then with far more women having careers which are higher up in businesses, and consume more of their time and more equal rights laws and regulations existing, making it so that women have equal opportunities as men which may mean that there are more symmetrical families than there was when this research was conducted. However, even in modern society there is still a strong existence of segregated roles within families but it is also evident that these roles are changing as more women find careers.

    Radical feminists believe that in the family, women should have more power than men, but the patriarchal system oppresses women, so that men can maintain their power which means that men and women’s roles are seen as not equal by radical feminists as long as men maintain their power in society.

    Marxist feminists believe that class effects the role of men and women in the family and that when middle class is compared with working class it will be found that in the working class there is a stronger existence of segregated roles and that in the middle class there will be a stronger existence of symmetrical roles as it is more likely for the middle class to have both the man and the woman working in offices full time and in the working class the man may work full time and the woman may work part time or stay at home. However, there is evidence to that this assumption of middle class families being more symmetrical is false. Stephen Edgell (1980) found that even middle-class families are likely to have segregated relationships. However, this research is over 30 years outdated so is not a reliable source, as more women have careers now in the middle-class whereas, 30 years ago the man would be more likely to be the only one working giving the family the status of middle-class, which may mean that if research was conducted now it may be found that the level of segregated relationships has declined and the amount of symmetrical families has increased.

    In modern day society feminists still view men and women’s relationships within the family as segregated with men possessing the power, as it is the man who earns the majority of money and woman still do the majority of housework, this exists even when women earn the same amount as a man or more. Some feminists feel that as long as society remains patriarchal that men and women will remain segregated, due to the oppression of women. Due to this patriarchal society women tend to remain lower down in businesses than men due to maternity leave and sexism, in theory this should not effect a women’s position in her career but in practice this does as when men are compared to women. The fact that it is the women who gets maternity leave shows that men still view women as the main child carer, as it is not necessary for a woman to have that much time off of work after having a child, either parent could have a year off of work to care for the child but the patriarchal system makes it so that the woman is the only parent able to do this, as it only allows the father a couple weeks off of work. Also, as woman are allowed maternity leave this also makes them miss opportunities for promotion so while they are off of work the man may receive promotions which may result in a higher workload so their husband may do less housework, as they view their part as the breadwinner as more significant than their wife’s career, as they will be making a larger financial contribution which results in the wife doing more housework.

    Outline and evaluate functionalist views of the role of the family in society. 29/33 marks
    Functionalists believe in a harmonious society but believe this can only be achieved through the nuclear family. This is due to the nuclear family providing the right value consensus in order for children to enter society as adults who are socially acceptable which will prevent conflict occurring. Functionalists also believe that society operates like the human body which means that if one part of breaks chaos can break out.

    Functionalists believe that the nuclear family is essential for society to remain harmonious as when this family breaks down they can no longer provide the functions required for this. Murdock stated that there are four functions provided by the nuclear family that are essential for a harmonious society; sexual; educational; economical; and reproductive. These functions help to socialise children into society as socially acceptable adults and functional workers who will continue to operate society efficiently and harmoniously.

    Parsons also stated that there are two main functions of a nuclear family. One of which is socialisation as both parents are required in order for a child to learn societies norms, values and in order to develop their own identity. Functionalists believe one parent cannot do this adequately and that one parent would cause the child to under achieve and become a criminal delinquent causing chaos in society. Another function is stabilisation as the nuclear family provide the right value consensus resulting in stable children which will help to maintain a harmonious society.

    Functionalists believe the main family is nuclear. However, Rapoport et al, criticise this functionalist view as statistics show that this was not even true in 1978 with only 20% of families fitting this ideal. This shows us that the functionalist view of nuclear families resulting in a harmonious society whilst others cause chaos is untrue as for a long time the majority of families have not been nuclear in society yet society is still functional.

    Functionalists believe that one parent families are unsuitable as they cannot provide the right consensus for a child to group up which will lead to under achievement and criminal delinquency as previously stated. A reason for this is that one parent may not care for the child especially if this child was conceived when the mother was a teenager. However, Burghes and Browns study of 31 mothers who conceived their children as teenagers showed that these mothers cared about their children and wanted to look after them and all of them planned to go back into education or find employment once their child entered primary school.

    The functionalist view is very Western as there are many cultures that have always had a completely different type of family yet they are relatively harmonious. Some cultures allow polygamy which is when a person can have many husbands or wives and these families tend to work as polyandry allows a wife to marry a man and his brothers which means that she will be very well provided for financially and emotionally.

    The functionalist view that the nuclear family is need for society to be harmonious is not only untrue due to diversity in the UK but also due to the dark side of the family. This dark side of the family is the part of the family that is hidden from society which involves child abuse and domestic abuse, until recently this side of the family was not accounted for but now many people are much more aware of this existing. It is argued that in a nuclear family where abuse exists this family cannot be functional and would be better off if broken apart as it can have psychological effects on children such as, under achievement in education, closing themselves off from others in society, which would result in them not being socialised into society properly and them being bad for society when they are older. However, functionalists argue here that the nuclear family is still the most functional family even if abuse exists and that this issue should be resolved whilst maintaining this family structure.

    Here is one that I haven't had marked

    Outline and evaluate sociological views of family diversity. [33]

    Functionalist’s believe that society functions like the human body with each individual unit being vital to maintaining a functional society. This means that functionalists believe that the only functional family in society is the nuclear family and that any other type will cause chaos in society. This is due to this being the only type of family which can provide the correct value consensus in order to socialise children into society as adults who are good workers. The New Right is similar to that of functionalist’s stating that men are required to socialise son’s into society as women are not a suitable role model for son’s and without this father figure son’s will be likely to become social delinquents as stated by Murray. However, evidence from Burghes and Browns study shows us that single mother’s care a lot about their children and will look after them properly and when they enter education most of these mothers plan on gaining further education or starting a career, meaning that women can be a suitable role model for children and that there is no real need for the nuclear family in society.
    Marxist’s believe that the nuclear family is essential to the ruling class in socialising children to become controllable workers as their parents will pass on the norms and values of the ruling class ideology which will help with the continuation of a false class consciousness. This will benefit the ruling classes as it would allow them to continue being able to exploit the working class by paying them less than their true value and allowing the ruling class to make a profit which in turn will help with the continuation of the capitalist system. This means that family diversity would result in children being inadequately socialised in that they will not have this false class consciousness meaning that this would cause a revolution against the capitalist system as the working classes would have become class conscious.

    The New Right supports Marxist and Functionalist views that family diversity is not beneficial to society. This is due to the belief that lone-parent families headed by a mother are unable to socialise their son’s appropriately as without the father figure son’s will not learn the value of work nor see this as a norm and so are more likely to become criminals and social delinquents, according to Murray. However, Murray’s view although stated within the last 30 years is fairly outdated as in modern society women go out to work so should be fully capable of being a good role model for their children to be able to learn the norms and values of working as an adult. Burghes and Brown provides evidence to support lone parent families headed by mothers as they found that single mothers would look after their children full time and when their children entered education would then go on to further education or start a career meaning that mothers would be there to teach their children norms and values before education and then would be able to show them the norms of going to work.

    However, feminists would argue that the nuclear family helps to oppress women as it supports patriarchy and allows men to exploit women as they can use them as free labour. This is due to the women doing the housework, cooking and childcare whilst the man goes out to work and earns money. Furthermore, as men earn the money they also feel they have control over this money and due to this can use this power to control women as they may buy them new clothes and cookers. Also within the family if a woman does not conform to her role her husband may physically or mentally abuse her in order to suppress her and make her conform. To add to this although women have equal rights the family unit can cause women to not use these rights as they are oppressed by the fact they have children who they need to look after and their husbands may not allow them to go out to work stating that they are their wife and they should stay at home and may threaten to take their children away in order to do this. So feminists would conclude that family diversity is beneficial to women as it would allow women to become equal to men due to the patriarchal system being broken down.

    Postmodernists believe that there is no one type of family in society and that society is extremely diverse in terms of the family with all of them having different structures and roles. They believe in individualism and choice and believe that in some cases the nuclear family is better off broken apart as people may be far happier living a different lifestyle. Evidence has shown that when someone has divorced and remarried and started a career they were far happier than they were when in the nuclear family structure and conforming to their traditional role.

    I have more essays if you want to have a look at them
    Do you have any predicted questions?
    My teacher gave me predicted questions and at the moment i'm relying on them...but i'm worried that those questions may not come up.
    Essays are helpful by the way, especially the last two. Thankyou.
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    (Original post by candyfloss_1)
    Do you have any predicted questions?
    My teacher gave me predicted questions and at the moment i'm relying on them...but i'm worried that those questions may not come up.
    Essays are helpful by the way, especially the last two. Thankyou.
    I haven't been given any predicted questions my teachers don't tend to give us any predictions. Last may's exam had a question on two types of family diversity but it is possible to be asked for two reasons for family diversity, pretty much every other area for 17 mark questions has been previously covered, possibly two ways in which relationships between parents and children has changed as this hasnt come up as a 17 marker since jan 09. For 33 mark questions functionalist views on the role of the family has not come up in previous exams, they haven't asked about Marxist views on the role of the family since jan 09 and they haven't asked about feminist views in a few years, they also haven't asked about post modernism for a while. They only asked about new right views in january 2013 so it is unlikely for this question to come up.
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    (Original post by tasha212)
    I haven't been given any predicted questions my teachers don't tend to give us any predictions. Last may's exam had a question on two types of family diversity but it is possible to be asked for two reasons for family diversity, pretty much every other area for 17 mark questions has been previously covered, possibly two ways in which relationships between parents and children has changed as this hasnt come up as a 17 marker since jan 09. For 33 mark questions functionalist views on the role of the family has not come up in previous exams, they haven't asked about Marxist views on the role of the family since jan 09 and they haven't asked about feminist views in a few years, they also haven't asked about post modernism for a while. They only asked about new right views in january 2013 so it is unlikely for this question to come up.
    the predictions my teacher gave are to do with diversity :/ and that's all i've been doing today ahhhhhh
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    (Original post by candyfloss_1)
    the predictions my teacher gave are to do with diversity :/ and that's all i've been doing today ahhhhhh
    It is likely that a question could come up on diversity, but ensure that you go over other topic areas before the exam. I found another possible question which could come up as they have asked about nuclear families as a 33 mark before but they haven't asked about the view that the traditional nuclear family is the best family type, although I think it is more likely for the functionalist question to come up rather than this one
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    (Original post by tasha212)
    It is likely that a question could come up on diversity, but ensure that you go over other topic areas before the exam. I found another possible question which could come up as they have asked about nuclear families as a 33 mark before but they haven't asked about the view that the traditional nuclear family is the best family type, although I think it is more likely for the functionalist question to come up rather than this one

    thankyou, I will go over it tomorrow
    I was told to revise social policies too..you never know!
 
 
 

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