Sociology AS- Family-Revision Notes-

Condensed notes on the family module of AQA sociology AS-level

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  • Created by: Courtney
  • Created on: 02-02-12 21:12
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Variations in social groups
Teenage 2X more likely to divorce.
Higher rate for first 5 years of marriage
More than 30 years 2X more likely to divorce than 10 years ago
W/c more likely to divorce
Asians less likely to
Childless couples more likely to
People married to someone of different class, ethnicity or religion
Empty Shell Marriages- who knows? People `stay together for
kids' or embarrassed!
Marriage & Cohabitation Patterns
1970's- about 400,000 first marriages. Now it's almost half that. Almost half
of all marriages are remarriages.
Today there are roughly 2 million cohabiting couples...why?!
The increase in divorce
Legal Changes
1. Divorce Law Reform Act 1969- No longer had to prove a partner `guilty'
to get divorced
2. Matrimonial & Family Proceedings Act 1984- Couples can get divorce
after 12 months
3. Family Law Act 1996- Increase amount of time back to 18 months,
introduced compulsory counselling. Gov. worried about rising rates
Impact of Feminism- ¾ of divorce petitions made by women. More
The Welfare State- State benefits help women, more so with children.

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Changing Social Attitude- Divorce losing social stigma
Secularisation- Less influence of religious teachings
Rising expectations of marriage- Functionalists- reality of marriage
Increased life expectancy- Literally, people have more time to divorce!
Declining Marriage/ Increasing cohabitation
Impacts of Feminism- No longer marry for financial security.
Sharpe (1976, 1994) saw that girls' priorities have changed.
Fear of Divorce- Being `put-off'. Can't divorce if cohabiting.
Secularisation- People less religious. Less likely to be condemned by
church.…read more

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Domestic Labour & Gender Roles.
Most studies conducted by feminists
Key Concepts
Patriarchy- Male power over women in family.
Congugal Roles- Bott (1957) - Said 2 Types of role- segregated and joint.
Segregated popular most of 19th and 20th century. Joint popular since 1970's.
Double & Triple Shift- Women having paid work and doing housework. Might
as well have 2 jobs! Triple adds emotional to this (childcare).…read more

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Men are suited to world of work= should work!
Each has responsibility for only one shift!
Young & Wilmott- 1973- Found 72% of men did housework other
than washing up! Optimistic view, `march of progress' view on
Angry Feminist Response...
Oakley- 1974- Y&W `72%' proves very little. Oakley asked 40
Married women (representative?) how much participation men had in h/work
and childcare. Found 15% had high-level in h/work and just 25% high
level in childcare.…read more

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Power Relationships & Domestic Violence
Decision Making
Edgell (1980) men more likely to make important decisions.
Hardill et al (1997) some evidence of more recent equality in
decision making.
Financial Control
Pahl (1989)
Interviewed 102 couples... most couples (39) shared money but husband has
financial control. She called this `husband-controlled pooling'. Found
no evidence of symmetry.
Domestic Violence
Radical Feminists- Dobash & Dobash- (1980)
Interviewed female victims of domestic violence. Argued
women don't report mostly due to fear.…read more

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Children in Industrial Times:
Same as Pre-industrial- but worse! Employed in factories,
coalmines and up chimneys. Weren't protected by laws. Were
just added income.
Childhood today:
`Child-centred' society. Children valued & protected. Started to emerge in 50's
1. Children go to school from 5-16 (atleast)
2. Own doctors, teachers etc to care for them
3. Toys, books etc made just for children
4. Special food & drink for children
5. Laws to protect them- age of consent etc.…read more

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Compulsory Education- Could no longer work full time. Further
education has meant that `children' are forced to be dependent on parents for
Laws- Prevention of cruelty to children act (1889) & Children Act (1989)
People work less hours- parents spend more time with children
Age restrictions accept children different- children can't work
full-time until 13. Full time 16. Age of consent 16. Cigarette & Alcohol 18.
Children worth more- Opinions are useful, member of society. Opinions
sought in custody cases etc.…read more

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More likely to get diseases such as typhoid & malaria due to bad public health
enforcement etc.
Child soldiers:
More than 500,000 under 18 been recruited as child soldiers.
The future of childhood: UK
Positive view & Conflict view:
Positive view- `march of progress' western society is `child-centred'
Negative view- focuses on inequality among children & adults.
Inequalities among children:
Many children suffer deprivation:
Relative Poverty & Homelessness
Cultural Deprivation- Lack of parental encouragement, stimulation
books & toys etc.…read more


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