Sociology AS- Family and Households keywords

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Birth Rate (BR) - Number of Births per 1000 of a population per year.
Childhood: A socially defined age-status. There are major differences in how childhood is defined,
both historically and between cultures. Western societies today define children as vulnerable and
segregate them from the adult world, but in the last they were part of adult society from an earlier
Conjugal roles: the roles played by husband and wife. Segregated conjugal roles are where the
husband is breadwinner and the wife is homemaker, with leisure spend separately. In joint conjugal
roles, husband and wife each perform both roles and spend their leisure time together.
Death Rate (DR) - Number of Deaths per 1000 of a population per year.
Demography: The study of population, including birth, death, fertility and infant mortality rates,
immigration and emigration and age structure, as well as the reasons for changes in these.
Dependency culture: where people assume that the state will support them, rather than relying on
their own efforts and taking responsibility for their families. The New Right see the welfare state as
over-generous, encouraging people to remain unemployed and dependent on benefits, as
responsible for the growing number of lone=parent families and rising crime rates.
Domestic labour: work performed in the home, such as childcare, cooking and cleaning.
Functionalists see it as part of the expressive role, performed by women, while feminists regard it as
a major source of women's oppression.
Dual burden: when a person is responsible for two jobs. Usually applies to women who are in paid
work, but also responsible for domestic labour.
Emotion work: the work involved in meeting the emotional needs of other people e.g. looking after
a sick child involves responding to emotional as well as physical needs. Some sociologists argue that
women carry a triple burden of housework, paid work and emotion work.
Empty shell marriage: a marriage in name only, where a couple continues to live under the same
roof but as separate individuals. It may occur where divorce is difficult for legal, religious or financial
reasons, or where a couple decides to stay together for the sake of the children.
Expressive role: the caring, nurturing `homemaker' role in the family. Functionalists argue that
women are biologically suited to performing this role, but feminists reject this.
Extended family: any group of kin (people related by blood, marriage or adoption) extended
beyond the nuclear family. The family may be extended vertically (e.g. grandparents) horizontally
(e.g. aunts, uncles, cousins) or both.
Family diversity: the idea that there is a range of different family types, rather than the single
dominant one (nuclear family). It is associated with the postmodernist idea that in today's society,
increasing choice about relationship is creating greater family diversity.

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Family practises: the routine actions through which we create our sense of `being a family member'
such as doing the shopping or the DIY. Morgan prefers the term so that of family structure because it
conveys the idea that families are, not `things' but what their members actually do.
Family structure: the composition of a group of people who live together as a family unit. Structures
include the nuclear family, extended family, reconstituted family, lone-parent and same sex families.…read more

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Life expectancy: How long on average people who are born in a given year can expect to live.
Living apart together (`LATS'): couples who are in a significant relationship, but not married of
cohabiting. Some sociologists suggest that LATs may reflect a trend towards less formalised
Mobility: movement, change of position. Sociologists distinguish between geographically mobile, in
which people move from one place to another (e.g. in search of work).…read more

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According to Giddens, it is increasingly regarded as the only acceptable basis for in a
Reconstituted family: a stepfamily, in which one or both partners has children from a previous
Reserve army of labour: A Marxist concept describing groups who can be brought into the
workforce when there is a labour shortage as the capitalist economy expands during a boom, and
discarded when it contracts.…read more

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Empty nest family = 2 parents and their children have grown up and left home.
DINKI family = dual income ­ no kids.…read more


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