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Past Exam Essay Questions:
(e) Examine the extent of and reasons for family diversity in today's society. (June 2001)
(e) Examine the reasons for the changes in the pattern of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in
the last 30 years. (May 2002)
(e) Examine some of the reasons for the diversity of families and households in Britain today.
(May 2003)
(f) Assess the view that changes in the law are the main cause of increases in divorce rate (Jan
(f) Assess the view that despite changes in family life, the conventional nuclear family remains
the norm for families and households in Britain today. (May 2004)
(f) Assess the view that the extended family remains as important now as it was in the past (Jan
(f) Assess the sociological explanations of the increase in the number of divorces since the
1960s (May 2006)
(e) Examine the reasons for the increase in family and household diversity in the last 40 years.
(May 2007)
(e) Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm. (Jan 2009)…read more

Slide 2

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Rapaport & Rapaport ­ Types of diversity
-Generational ­ generations differ in their views
-Organizational ­ way family roles are organized
-Social /Class ­ income differences
-Life /Chance ­ differ to where reached in the life cycle
-Cultural ­ cultures differ in type of family set up.
Regional ­ differ to where people live
Lone Parent Families
· 24% of all families
· 1 in 4 children live in this
· 90% headed by Lone mothers
· A child in this set up is 2 x more likely to be in poverty
· Seen as only temporary
· Duncan + Rogers ­ less than a third of children born into this, stay in it
throughout childhood
· 15% of single mothers, stopped being on within a year ­ British household *
panel survey…read more

Slide 3

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· Declined
· Still seen as norm
· Best suited for our functions ­ socialization etc..
· Role models
Has the nuclear declined?
· Lone parent ­ Was nuclear
· Reconstituted ­ Remodels the nuclear ­ ideal
· Cohabitation ­ May develop into nuclear - Not
permanent ­ Trial
· Single person ­ Creative singlehood ­ widowed
pensioner ­ life course *…read more

Slide 4

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LARGEST ­ Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani LONE PARENTHOOD ­ Black Caribbean and
Black African
THREE GENERATIONAL ­ EXTENDED 2002 ­ Half a million families with children
SHAW ­ structure kept through socialisation. headed by a black person where LONE
CHARLES ­ extended would be extinct if it PARENTS
wasn't for south Asian migration
Reflects the Asian Family culture, placing value The high rate of lone parenthood example of
on its elders and the extended family family DISORGANISATION (Tracked historically
through slavery)
they are more likely to experience marital breakdown
when migrating. and desertion ­ unable to provide
ROGER BALLARD ­ Migrating families in the 50' MIRZA ­ Lone parenthood due to female
s and 60's relied on family ties for support independence.
Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus ­ more likely to live REYNOLDS ­ misleading statistics ­ lone
in extended or modified extended parents are supported by none cohabiting *
partners financially.…read more

Slide 5

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Reasons for Family
Diversity Reconstituted Extended
·10% of all families ·CHARLES Extinct with the
·Increase in divorce exception of Bangladeshi
·Cultural ­ south Asian
Single ·Increase in remarriage/
·Still exists as modified ­
Person Serial monogamy advances in Communication
Household ·Pressure to live in the Lone
·BELL Working class
·Increase Desired nuclear/ Parent ­ modified extended for
·2006 ­ 3 in 10 ·24% of all
Cereal packet Domestic support Cohabitation
·Half of these were
Norm Family ·1 in 4 children ·BELL Middle ·Over 2 million
·Increase in divorce
·Cultural Class modified couples
·Increase divorce extended ·Decline in
Men leave
·Careerism and women's ·Feminist movement for financial pre-marital sex
-Women independent support
independence ·Expense of Marriage
·STEIN ­ Creative ·Decline in stigma in ·Careers for women ­
singlehood children outside of marriage become more
·LATs ­ 1 in 10 ­ CASHMORE ­ financially independent
Duncan and Philips, ·Working class women ­ *
·Secularisation ­
significant relationships
on benefits, often after abuse religion decline…read more

Slide 6

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· Functionalism
­ The family is an important institution, for functions, nuclear best for this
­ Parsons ­ Functional fit to society
­ Nuclear best for Socialization and stabilization
­ Any others abnormal.
· Feminism
­ Inequality in nuclear
­ BECK ­ nuclear = gender inequality/patriarchy and self interest.
­ Control and manipulation in nuclear
· New Right
­ Oppose diversity
­ Diversity = Social problems, crime and education failure
­ Benson - Divorce and cohabitation creates instability
­ Poverty and benefit dependency ­ dependency culture
· Post modernism
­ Like diversity
­ Freedom of own life course
­ Giddens ­ Changes and increase in diversity has lead to more intimacy and love.
­ More independent women ­ couples can negotiate their relationship instead of following the
traditional pattern.
­ Giddens ­ The "pure relationship" meets each partners needs and equality present.
­ BECK ­ nuclear = gender inequality/patriarchy and self interest.
*…read more

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Ditsy Ninjaa


This is AMAZING. Had to look for so many resources before but this powerpoint has everything. Thanks :D

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