Social Policy and the Family

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  • Created by: hannahi24
  • Created on: 05-01-16 18:05
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  • Social policy & the Family
    • Divorce
      • In the past divorce could only occur on the grounds of a matrimonial offence being committed and evidence of such. These were adultery, cruelty and desertion
        • Divorce Law Reform of 1969 widened the grounds for divorce by introducing the term ‘irretrievable breakdown’
        • The Family Law Act of 1996 increased the divorce period from 12 months to 18 months and introduced compulsory marriage counselling to combat rising divorce rates.
      • Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 which reduced the time a divorce took from three years to just one
    • Social Policy not aimed at families
      • Equal Pay Act 1970  changed the conjugal roles within the family allowing women to work
        • Liberal Feminists say this reduces inequality
      • 1880 Eduction Act    made school compulsory for children turning them from financial assets to financial burdens causing reduction in birth rates and family size.
        • Child Liberationists Firestone & Holt say this changed the parent-child relationship making the child completely economically dependent on their parents leading to inequality
      • Care in the Community Act allows women to work instead of having to look after elderly relatives changing conjugal roles
      • Marxists are critical of social policy and believe it only benefits the capitalist
        • The Child Support Agency was only created to lower taxes for the capitalist and help them save money
          • Women could work when the men fought in WWII changing conjugal roles because the capitalist needed them as a Reserve Army of Labour and even provided them with nurseries but once they weren't need the nurseries were shut down forcing women back to the household
    • Social policy has caused a change in family patterns and created family diversity
      • Post Modernists agree with this and believe the social policy should do more to encourage family diversity as it shows freedom of choice
      • The New Right believe this is wrong and that more should be done to bring about the rise in traditional nuclear families
    • Social Policy aimed at families
      • That provide financial support
        • Child Maintenance Service ensures absent parents provide financial support for their children allow
        • Cash benefits/ Tax credits designed to stop child poverty and material deprivation
          • NR are critical of this as they believe it undermines the self-reliance of the family
      • That help balance work and family life
        • Maternity Leave provides the mother with paid a year off of work
        • Early years childcare support provides 15 hours of free pre-school a week so parents don't have to use their wages for expensive childcare that makes working redundant
    • Sociological perspectives on Social policy
      • Functionalists believe that social policy is a good thing as it helps the family perform its functions
        • The state assists with primary socialisation by providing 15 hours of free pre-school a week and PSHE
      • Marxists are critical of social policy and believe it only benefits the capitalist
        • The Child Support Agency was only created to lower taxes for the capitalist and help them save money
          • Women could work when the men fought in WWII changing conjugal roles because the capitalist needed them as a Reserve Army of Labour and even provided them with nurseries but once they weren't need the nurseries were shut down forcing women back to the household
      • Radical Feminists believe that social policy is designed to reinforce patriarchy and RadFems Barret & McIntosh believe that its designed with the cereal packet family in mind
        • Liberal Feminists are criticical of Radical Feminists and look at the social policies that have benefited women like equal rights to petition for divorce and making marital rape illegal

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