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Modernism and the nuclear family
Functionalism & New
right = `modernist' Talcott Parsons ­ There
is a functional fit
Nuclear family is the between the nuclear
best family type family and modern
society
Other family types are seen
as abnormal, inadequate or
even deviant…read more

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The New Right
Anti-feminist They see the family Family is a
as `natural' based place of
on biological refuge,
Only one correct family type differences between contentment
­ traditional nuclear family men and women and harmony
Decline of tradition nuclear Lone-parent ­ unnatural and
family is the cause of problems harmful ­ mothers cannot
(i.e. social problems, higher discipline children properly,
crime rates and educational burden to the welfare state,
failure leave boys without a adult
male role model
Disapprove mothers
going out to work Marriage as the essential basis for
creating a stable environment in which
to bring up children…read more

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The New Right (cont.)
Harry Benson ­ Rate of family Critic ­ marriage
Perverse incentives ­
breakdown was much lower does not provide
punish responsible
among married couples protection against
behaviour, reward
family breakdown,
irresponsible
but simply the
Amato ­ family break down is behaviour
degree of
a risk to children ­ greater risk commitment
of poverty, educational failure,
crime and health problems, Dependency culture
increased chance of future
family breakdown when they In favour of cutting
become adults welfare benefits
Criticism ­ Ann Oakley (feminist) New Criticism ­ little or no
Right assume that husbands and wives' evidence that lone-parent
role are fixed biology. Cross cultural families are part of a
studies show great variations between `dependency culture'
men and women perform in the family…read more

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Chester: the neo-conventional family
His view: Little has
Does not see the He argues that most people don't changed
changes in family choose to live in families that are Evidence: -Most
diversity as very alternative to the nuclear family. people live in a
significant nor does he household headed by
see it in a negative -The Nuclear family remains the ideal a married couple
light which most people aspire -Most adults still
marry and have
Conventional family: type of nuclear Most people are not children, divorce has
family describe by New Right and living in nuclear families increased but they
functionalists with a clear cut die to the life cycle may remarry
division of labour (widows, young people -Most marriages still
and divorcees). At some continue until death
Neo-conventional family: A duel point in the future or in -Cohabitation has
earning family in which both the past these people will risen but this for most
spouses go to work (similar to the be living in the nuclear couples is a tempory
symmetrical family family phase before they
marry…read more

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The Rapoports: five types of family
diversity
Organisational diversity: this refers to differences in the ways family roles are
organised (Joint conjugal roles, two wage-earners, segregated conjugal roles, one
wage earner).
Cultural diversity: Different cultural, religious and ethnic groups have different family
structures
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 life staged reached into
the life cycle ­ retired couples, Newly weds, young people living together or alone
etc...
Generational diversity: Older and younger generations have different attitudes and
experiences that reflect the historical periods in which they have lived
Way I remember it: ONLY CATS SLEEP LIKE GODS ­ Only, O, Organisational - Cats, C, Cultural ­
Sleep, S, Social class ­ Like, L, Life stage ­ Gods, G, Generational…read more

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