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A comparative view of family policy
1. Why and how did the government of the Soviet Union try to destroy the
patriarchal family structure?
They regarded it as an obstacle to the creation of a socialist
society based on equality, to solve this, the Soviet government
in 1920s changed the laws to make divorce and abortion easier
to obtain, this guaranteed equality between the sexes as this
lead to women entering paid employment and the state provided
2. The new Soviet state had to prepare for war quite quickly
after Hitler's rise to power in 1933. How did a change in policy come
about because of this preparation?
The soviet government had to change their policies as they were
about to face a war with Nazi Germany; this lead to divorce laws
being tightened, abortion made illegal and parents were
encouraged to have more children, this was done by rewarding
individuals who had larger families with an allowance. The media and the
state glorified parenthood and highly fertile women were given a title:
"Hero Mother of the Soviet Union".
3. In China, the government's population control policy has
discouraged couples from having more than one child
through a `one child policy'. It is supervised by workplace
family planning committees whereby women must seek
their permission to become pregnant. What incentives does
China offer to ensure women conform?
For the parents they will receive extra benefits, i.e. free child
health care and higher tax allowances. For the child they will
receive priority in education and housing when they get older.
4. What did Wilson say about China's one-child policy?
Wilson said that the policy is supervised by workplace family
planning committees; women must seek permission to try and
become pregnant, and there is often a waiting list and a quota
for each factory.
5. In Nazi Germany in the 1930's, the state aimed to encourage the
healthy and supposedly `racially pure' to breed a `master race'. What
actions did the government carry out to ensure this?
To ensure that this would take place the government by restricting
abortion and contraception to those who were not "racially pure". Women
were kept out of the workforce and confined them to "children, kitchen
and church", therefore to detain them to perform their biological role.
The state "sterilised approx. 400,000 disabled people" as they were seen
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AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE ABOVE , SOME GOVERNMENTS TAKE EXTREME
MEASURES TO CONTROL FAMILY LIFE THROUGH SOCIAL POLICY. S OME PEOPLE
ARGUE THAT IN DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES SUCH AS BRITAIN, THE FAMILY IS A
PRIVATE SPHERE OF LIFE IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT INTERVENE
OTHER THAN PERHAPS WHEN THINGS GO `WRONG' I.E. CHILD ABUSE AND
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE .…read more