Unit 1 - Family and Households - Key terms and definitions

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Family and households:
Achieved status ­ a position in society which is earned through your own merit
Ageing population ­ where the average age of the population is rising, with declining proportion of
young people
Age patriarchy ­ the domination of adults over children
Ascribed status ­ a position in society that is given by birth
Bigamy ­ being married to more than one person
Birth-rate ­ the number of live births per thousand of the population per year
Bourgeoisie ­ the ruling class in capitalist society
Breadwinner ­ the person doing all/most of the paid work in order to pay for the expenses of a
Childhood ­ a socially constructed period in life of young people; what people mean by childhood,
and the position that children occupy in society, is not fixed but different between times, places and
Child-centred ­ a situation in which the interests of children are put before the interests of adults
Civil partnership ­ the 2004 Civil Partnership Act has given same-sex couples similar to legal rights
to married couples in respect of pensions, inheritance, tenancies and property
Cohabiting ­ living together in the same household without being married
Conjugal roles ­ the roles played by husband and wife
Culture ­ all those things that are learnt and shared by a society/group ­ includes shared norms,
values, beliefs, knowledge and skills
Death rate ­ the number of deaths per thousand of the population per year
Demography ­ the study of population, including birth, death, fertility and infant mortality rates,
immigration and emigration, age structure, and the reasons for changes in these
Dependency culture ­ where people assume that the state will support them, rather than relying on
their own efforts to take responsibility for their family
Dependency ratio ­ the relationship between the size of the working population and the
non-working/dependent population
Domestic labour ­ work performed in the home
Division of labour ­ the way in which jobs are divided up between people
Divorce ­ the legal ending of a marriage
Divorce rate ­ the number of people who divorce per thousand married people in a population per

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Domestic abuse ­ actions which are damaging to current or former partners in an intimate
Domestic violence ­ actions involving the use of force or the threat of force against current or
former partners in an intimate relationship which are harmful to the other partner
Dual burden ­ person responsible for two jobs; usually applied to women
Dual earner families ­ families in which both partners are in paid employment
Emotion work ­ the work involved in meeting the emotional needs of other people…read more

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Joint conjugal roles ­ relationship between husband and wife in which both do some paid work and
some housework and provide childcare.…read more

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Secularisation ­ the decline in the importance and influence of religion and its institutions in society
Separation/Desertion ­ where one partner walks out on the other but there is no divorce
Separatism ­ a Radical Feminist idea that women should live independently of men as the only way
to free themselves from the patriarchal oppression of the heterosexual family
Serial monogamy ­ where one person marries then divorces a series of different partners
Social construction ­ where something is created by social processes ­ things…read more


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