New Right and the Family.

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  • New Right and the Family.
    • The New Right are usually conservatives, and were most influential in the 1980's with Margaret Thatcher. They see a normal family as the nuclear family unit, for example, John Redwood, a Conservative MP, stated in 1993 that the "natural state should be the two-adult family caring for their children"
    • Murray (1989)
      • Wrote about undercla** in America and said that it is increasing in the UK
      • He identified two groupd the New Rabble, which includes long-term unemployed, welfare dependents and single mothers relying on benefits- this group is dangerous for society because children are not socialised properly; and the New Victorians, who are the respectable middle cla** who marry, socialise their children properly, work and pay taxes.
    • In the recent years there has been growing concern about the state of the family. The New Right are very critical of single parent families for 2 reasons:
      • they aregue that single-parent families cost too much in welfare benefits.
        • they argue that men should be treated as bread winners and women the home makers. They are against cohabitation and divorce and in favour of marriage.
          • They believe that children need a male and female role model for adequate socialisation.
      • They believe that children need a male and female role model for adequate socialisation.
    • Further evidence comes from lone-parent families; fatherle** families; divorce rates; cohabitation and gay and lesbian couples. As a result of these changes, two-parent nuclear family headed by a married couple is steadily decreasing.
      • The following have been seen as causing these changes:
        • the influence of feminism which have devalued marriage, domesticity and childrearing, and encouraged women to seek fulfilment outside of the home
        • over-generous welfare benefits to single mothers which allow fathers to opt out of their responsibility-es for raising and providing for their children
        • increased sexual permi**ivene-**
        • breakdown of "traditional family values"
        • Greater tolerance of gay and lesbian relationships as alternatives to heterosexual marriage
    • Consequence:
      • It is therefore failing to provide adequate socialisation which can result in children underachieving at school and behaving in an anti-social way ranging  from rudene** to crime
      • The "fragmented family" is no longer preforming it's functions
      • Also over-generous welfare benefits can lead to welfare dependency.
      • According to New Right, these changes have serious consequences.
      • Lone mothers become dependant on state benefits and, in effect, are "married to the state.
    • What can be done:
      • There will be two main solutions:
        • secondly, a change in government policy - redirecting welfare benefits and social service provision to support and maintain two parent families and penalising those who fail to live up to this deal
        • first, a return of traditional family values - life long marriage and a recognition of the duties and responsibilitie-s of parenthood.
      • Benson (2006)
        • analysed data on the parents of over 15,000 babies born in 2000-1, nearly 3000 of the mothers had become lone-parents during the first 3 years of the child's life.
        • However the rate of break-ups between married couples was much lower, 6% compared with 20% of cohabiting couples.
      • Denis and Eros (2000)
        • They state that on average, they have pooerer health and lower educational attainment.
        • Talks about fatherle** families claiming it places disadvantage-es on children
        • This lack of a farther apparently leads to irresponsible, immature and anti-social behaviour amongst young men
      • Amato (2000)
        • found that children in families that have broken down face greater povery, educational failure, crime and health proble-ms, as well as increased chance of future family breakdowns when they become adults themselves.
      • Smart (2003)
        • In her speech on changing attitudes of family life, believes that one-parent families encourage "bad relationships", especially with the absent parent.
    • Criticisms:
      • It can be argued that it may not be marriage, as such, that provides protection against family breakdown, but more simply the degree of commitment - those who are more committed to another to begin with may be more likely to marry and are more likely to stay together.
      • Feminists argue that the New Right hold sexist views on women, and that women increasingly go out and work as the family can no longer survive on a single male wage
      • There is little evidence that lone - parents are the cause of a "dependency culture" nor that their children are more likely to be delinquent that those brought up y two parent families of the same social cla**.
      • The new Right tends to group all single-parent families together and criticises them, without acknowledge-ing many nuclear families that fail to socialise their children properly.
      • If the welfare benefits were cut off for single parents, it is the children that would unfairly suffer


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