Families and social policy


A comparative view of family policy

China's one child policy- Wilson- policy supervised + women seek permission for pregnancy from working family commitees. 
Couples that comply get benifits -> lower taxes, free health services.
Only child get priority. - policy is used to reduce birth rate.  

Nazi family policy- Encouraged 'racially pure' to breed a master race!
-> policy tried keeping women to children, church and kitchen. ( biological role) similar to functionalist.
-> state compulsary sterilised 375,000 disabled/ retarded/ blind/ deaf etc.  

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Perspectives on families and social policy

Functionalism-> society built on harmony + consensus. 
- social policies are seen as good way to serve the needs of the family.
Fletcher - introduction of healthcare / education + welfare system to support family. 
Feminists say polocies often to benifit men at the expense of women.- it assumes there is a march of progress. 

The new right- Social policy should avoid undermining 'natural' traditional structure. 
- criticise welfare benifits as it weakens self reliance.
Murray -> benifits offer 'perverce incentives' by rewarding irresponsible behaviour.  
Eg fathers ditching wife + kids/ pregnant youths getting houses.
Rising crime rate as no authority disciplinary figure.
- social policy creates dependancy culture- to solve this they should cut benifits.- this would enable tax reductions/ rise in employment.
-> the less the state interferes the better. / enabling people to meet their own needs.  

New Right is criticised by - Feminists saying its an attempt to justify patriarchal power. 
Assumes patriarchal nuclear family is natural rather then socially constructed.  

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New labour + feminism

New labour - Similar to new right. 
-> positive role of social policy -> certain state intervention can be benificial
Eg laws on adoption for gays / minimum wages/ redistribution of taxes.
Most policies are means tested.

Feminism-> conflict view / patriarchy
-> all institutions maintain position behind men.
Land- social policy assumes ideal family is patriarchal nuclear.
Leach- calls the cereal packet norm
Leonard -> even where policies appear to be helping women, they are just reinforcing patriarchal power. ( maternity/ paternity have ) Assuming men are main economic providers! 
  Critisiced as not all policies maintain patriarchy. eg lone parent benifits, equal rights, divorce.  

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Gender regimes.

Drew -> social policy can encourage/ discourage gender equality. 
Traditional - 'familistic' gender regimes.
Equal- 'individualistic' gender regimes.

Familistic - assumption of husband working support from extended kin.

individualistic- equality policies, makes women less dependant on their husbands.
This brings greater gender equality in roles.
'March of progress' 

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Marxism + Donzelot- policing of families.

Marxism - all institutions help maintain capitalism. 
They see the state + policies as serving capitalism.
Eg pensioner are old workforce maintained at the lowest rate but they are still consumers.
Women were source of labour when war broke out. 'reserve army'

Donzelot - the policing of families.
Policy is a form of state power over families ( means tested)
Foucaults-> concept of surveillance/ power spread through society.
Donzelot says social workers, doctors (agents of social control) is policing of families.

Lower social classes focused on improving.
They cost government in poor health/ crime  

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