Families and households revision notes AQA

Used these notes last year to get me 72/80- UMS hope you find this useful :)

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Sociology families and households revision
Norms: Are the specific rules that govern behaviour in particular situations
Values: General principles or goals
Sanctions: Describes anything that encourages people to conform to norms
and is a form of social control.
Primary socialisation: Takes place in the early years occurs largely within the
family, where we learn language, basic skills and norms.
Second socialisation: Takes place later at school and in wider society
Status and role
Status: position in society some statuses are ascribed (based on fixed
characteristics with and cannot normally change, such as our sex or ethnicity)
Individual and society
Structural view: sees us as entirely shaped by the structure of society and sees
us as behaving according to society's norms and expectations.
The social action view: Sees us as having free will and choice. It emphasises
the power of individuals to create society through their actions and
Consensus or conflict
Consensus: a general agreement made by society on the norms and values
Believe society is held together by a shared culture into which its
members are socialised.
Sharing the same culture integrates individuals into society by giving
them a sense of social solidarity
It enables members of society to agree on goals and how to achieve
them and so allows them to cooperate harmoniously
They see society like a human body. Each part performs functions that
contribute to the well being of society e.g. family reproduces the
population this is known as organ analogy.
They see society as based on class conflict, not consensus. They argue
that society is divided into two social classes:
The bourgeoisie, capitalist ruling class who own the means of production
such as factories, raw materials and land
The majority working class, or proletariat, own nothing but their own
labour, which they have to sell to the bourgeoisie in order to survive.

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Agree with Marxists that there are fundamental divisions and conflicts in
society, but they see gender rather than class as the most important
They regard society and its institutions as maledominated or
patriarchal.…read more

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A unit of consumption Marxists believe the family plays a major role in
generating profits. Marcuse (1967) argues working class are encouraged
to pursue "false needs"
Marxist believe that the working class families had been deliberately
discouraged as its members were aware of social class position
Zaretsky (1976) sees the family as a prop to the capitalist system. The
family consumes the commodities produced by capitalist companies,
helping the bourgeoisie to generate profits
Poulantzas (1969) sees the family as part of the superstructure of
society.…read more

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Post modernists view on the family
Do not emphasise the dominance of one family type
Think we now have greater choice in our personal relationships and
increased family diversity
Focus on life course analysis a belief that the meanings we give to
decisions effect our family life
Do not believe in the structuralist theory the family does not have
certain functions its something we just are all part of
Look at society on a micro scale
Families and social policy
abortion is available for a…read more

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Believe the less the sate interferes in families the better the family life
will be
Feminists argue that this is an attempt to justify a return to the
traditional patriarchal family that subordinated women to men and
confined them to a domestic role.…read more

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UK had the highest ever number of couples and reach an all time
low in 2005
However there have been more remarriages this is leading to serial
People are marrying later
Couples are less likely to marry religiously
Reasons for changing patterns in marriage:
Changing attitudes less pressure to marry and more freedom
Secularisation, people feel freer to choose not to marry
Declining stigma attached to alternatives to marriage
Fear of divorce
Chester (1985) argues for most people cohabitation is part of the
process…read more

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Appeal court ruling: in divorce settlements, the principle of equality
applies so the starting point is a 5050 split of all assets
Changes in the law such as equalising the grounds for divorce between
the sexes, widening the grounds for divorce, making divorce cheaper
Declining in stigma and changing attitudes Mitchell and Goody (1997)
note that an important change since the 1960s has been the rapid
decline in the stigma attached to divorce
Secularisation refers to the decline in the influence of religion in…read more

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Same sex couples
Stonewall 2008estimates about 57% of the world population today
have same sex relationships
Since 2004 the civil partnership act has given same sex couples similar
legal rights to married couples in respect of pensions, inheritance,
tenancies and property
Cheal notes that while many gays and lesbians welcome the opportunity
to have their partnerships legally recognised.…read more

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Social class diversity differences in family structure are partly the result
of income differences between households of different classes
Life stage diversity family structures differ according to the staged
reached in the life cycle
Generational diversity older and younger generations have different
attitudes and experiences that reflect the historical periods in which
they have lived.…read more

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In her own research on housewives she found only 15% of husbands had a
high level of participation in housework and only 25% had a high level of
participation in childcare.
Boulton (1983) found that fewer than 20% of husbands had a major role
in childcare.
Warde and Hetherington (1993) show that sex typing of domestic tasks
remains strong. In general they found that men would only carry out
female tasks when their partners are not around to do them.…read more


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