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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- SEGREGATED CONJUGAL ROLES
- dad works and helps with childcare.
- mum works and does childcare/housework.
- JOINT CONJUGAL ROLES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.