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Family and Social Policy

A potential exam question could be:

Examine the ways in which laws and social policies may affect family life

You can also use this handout when discussing family diversity

The Definition of Social Policy

Social policy is concerned with the ways in which societies respond to…

Page 2

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3. Child Support Agency
Against diversity because...
· Absent parents must pay their way
­ Encourages couples to stay together
­ Discourages couples from having children outside the
· supporting patriarchal family and alienating those
suffering domestic violence
· Inhibits choice and freedom

It offers help to those…

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Sociological Theory and Social Policy
How may these laws and social policies affect families and households?


In their view social policy should avoid doing anything that disrupts the `natural',
`nuclear family.

They argue
· Governments seek to weaken families self reliance by providing benefits

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Much of social policy represents an attempt to create and promote a
normal family that excludes `deviant' behaviour
If the governments benefits are based around the `normal' family this will
discourage things like cohabitation. This makes it more difficult for people to
live in any other family type.

The family…

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Foucault's Concept of Surveillance

Like Marxists and Feminists Foucault believes that the state do exercise power,
however they are not the only ones:
Power is diffused between throughout society Doctors, Social Workers
They use their expert knowledge to express power over individuals.
­ E.g. Compulsory parenting orders etc





thank you!

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