Famlies and social policy

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  • Created on: 18-04-15 20:56
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  • Topic 7- Families and social policies
    • A comparative view of family policy
      • Abolishing the family
        • The government of the newly formed soviet union sought to destroy the old pre-revolutionary patriarchal family structure
      • China's one child policy
        • In china, the government's population control policy has discouraged couples from having more than one child.
      • Nazi family policy
        • In Nazi Germany 1930' the state pursued a twofold policy
          • On one hand, it encouraged the healthy and 'racially pure' to breed a 'master race'
          • On the other hand, the state sterilised 375,000 disabled people that it deemed unfit to breed on grounds of physical malformation, mental retardation, epilepsy, deafness and blindness
    • Perspectives on the family and social policy
      • Functionalism
        • See society as built on harmony and consensus and free from major conflicts
        • See the state as acting in the interest of society as a whole and its social policy as being for the good of all
        • Ronald fletcher(1966) argues that the introduction of health, education and housing policies has led to the development of a welfare state that supports the family in performing its functions more effectively
          • For example, The NHS service means that with the help of doctors, nurses, medicines ect, the family is able to take better care of its members when sick
      • The New right
        • They see the traditional nuclear family as self-reliant and capable of looking after its members
          • In their view, social policies should avoid undermining this natural, self-reliant family
        • Argue that the government weaken the family's self-reliance by providing generous welfare benefits
      • The new labour
        • The New Labour favours strengthening the institution of marriage and regards a family headed by a married couple as the best way to bring up children
      • Feminism
        • Feminists take a conflict view.
          • They argue that all social institutions, including the state and its policies, help to maintain women's subordinate position and unequal gender division of labour in the family
        • Feminists such as Hilary land(1978) argue that the social policies assume that the ideal family is the  patriarchal nuclear family
      • Marxism
        • Marxists see the society as based on class conflict
        • Capitalist society contains two classes- Capitalists and workers
          • The dominant capitalist class owns the means of production, such as factories, machinery and raw materials
          • The working class own nothing but its labour power
      • Donzelot: The policing of families
        • Like Marxists and Feminists, Jacques  Donzelot (1977) sees policy as a form of state power over families


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