everything you need to know about the topic FAMILY is on these cards! happy revising!

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  • Created by: dal
  • Created on: 16-06-12 18:52

Types of family

  • NUCLEAR: married parents and their biological children.
  • RECONSTITUTED: when 2 adults re-marry and bring children from a previous relationship into this new family (step-family).
  • LONE PARENT: one parent bringing up their children alone.
  • SAME SEX: same gender parents with their own children or adopted children.
  • EMPTY NEST: when all children from a family leave home.
  • BEANPOLE: families that are having fewer children but people are living longer.
  • NEO-CONVENTIONAL: a nuclear family leaded by a couple who are living together, or married and both working.
  • CO-HABITING:couple living together but not married.
  • PATRIARCHAL: when the male dominates the family.
  • SYMMETRICAL: where both parents take an equal share in in jobs.
  • EXTENDED: family consisting of parents and children along with either grandparetns or aunts and uncles.
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4 main functions of the family


Re=reproduction: produces the next generation of workers and regulates sexual behaviour. BUT now reproduction does not need a couple living together in marriage, couples may choose to adopt, cohabit have surrogate parents and IVF.

P=primary socialisation: parents teach norms and values. BUT young children go to nurseries, nannies and childminders where they are taught basic norms and values.

E=emotional support:stable family life gives us support keeping us happy. BUT now people get professional help from doctors, counsellors etc if they feel down.  

E=economic support:help finanically within the family. BUT now the benefit system helps those who do not have enough money.

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Sociological Approaches to the Family:

  • FUNCTIONALISM: see the family as POSITIVE for society as the nuclear family performs for the good of society.
  • NEW RIGHT: see the family as NEGATIVE for society if it is not a nuclear family BUT see single parent and same sex families as bad for society.
  •  MARXISM: see family as NEGATIVE for society. Believe that the family socialises the wroking class to accept that it is fair the classes are UNEQUAL.
  • FEMINISM: see family as NEGATIVE for society. Believe that the family is male dominated= PATRIARCHAL.
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Changes in the Family:

  • MORE PEOPLE CO-HABITING: less people practice religion, more people divorcing, living together as a trial.
  • MORE SINGLE PARENT FAMILIES: divorce act 1960 made it easier to obtain a divorce,more teen pregnancies, less stigma, IVF without a man.
  • MORE SAME SEX FAMILIES: more socially acceptable, intro of civil partnership agreement, can adopt.
  • SMALLER HOUSEHOLE SIZE: women living longer than men, yuonger women choosing career over family, more infertility.
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Why is marriage in decline?

  • rise in cohabitation.
  • not so frowned upon not to be married with children.
  • weddings are expensive.
  • less people are religious.
  • not seen as important.
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Why is divorce rising?

  • doesnt have the stigma it used to have.
  • easier to get a divorce.
  • religion is less important nowadays.
  • women dont have to stay in an unhappy relationship etc.


people who divorce do sometimes re-marry so not rejecting marriage just thier partner.

rise in divorce means more single parents maybe better for kids to have a single parents rather than 2 fighting ones.

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Roles within the family:

Parental roles :

  • dad used to go out to wrok (breadwinner) not heavily involved with childcare or housework.
  • mum used to stay at home (housewife).


  • dad works and helps with childcare.
  • mum works and does childcare/housework.
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Womens jobs in the family

  • TRIPLE SHIFT: women work, come home then do childcare and housework.
  • DUAL BURDEN: women now work but tend to do most of the housework too, so in theory have 2 jobs.
  • INVISIBLE WORK: women do jobs that arent really noticed like signing school letters etc.  
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Power relationships between parents and children


  • relationships are less strict and chidlren are asked their opinions, more freedom.


  • more children survive infancy.
  • parents have more choice about how many children they have.
  • whole industry based around parenthood.



  • middle class children are more likely to be included in descision making.
  • children are expected to help around the house.
  • some children act as translators for their parents.  
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Older people and the family

  • finanical burdern as older people need more help from NHS and benefit system.
  • greater risk of poverty because thier pensions have to last.
  • older person staying in family homes creates stress on housing market.

Positives of older people:

  • valuable source of childcare.
  • work for voluntary organisations.
  • being old doesnt mean being ill.
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Social Policy and family life

  • social policy is a descision made by Parliment to chnage or improve social conditions-enforced by law most of the time.
  • most social policies appear directly or indirectly to supoort nuclear family.



For example policies like:

  • mom and dad are entitled to PAID maternity and paternity leave whether married or not.
  • working tax credit paid to families on a low income.
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FINALLY, Other family alternatives

  • COMMUNE: where groups of people live together and share all responsibilty of the tasks - including childcare.
  • KIBBUTZ: israeli form of a commune. still around 300 exsist communities live  500 people together.
  • CO-HOUSING: have own house but may share area to eat and area to socialise.
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Syed Afjal Ali

Cheers. Great notes. Really helped mate.


I have a test next week and these have saved me! Thank you.


glad they helped :) 


Are these still reliable to use as revision for Sociology GCSEs in May for Year 11s in the UK?


my gcse sociology is in may not long to go and i dont know how to revise for the notes to stay in my memory for long. can you help me please?


thanks pal


exam on monday

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