New Right Views same as Functionalist Views
Many New Right views are the same as functionalist views including:
- The best family type is the nuclear family with a traditional division of labour (this is the familial ideology of the New Right).
- The nuclear family provides children with both a mother and a father, who are needed for children’s effective socialisation into the norms and values of society.
- The traditional division of labour ensures stability for society – the different roles of men and women are seen as natural because they are based on biological differences.
New Right Views
- Emphasise traditional family values (e.g. parents should be married)
- Claim there has been a decline in traditional family values due to changes that have given women sexual freedom, such as the introduction of the contraceptive pill, which the New Right argue has weakened women’s commitment to the family.
- Want people to take responsibility and come off benefits
- Blame welfare payments (benefits) for the rise in teenage pregnancies
Single-parent families – this is because children do not have a father and a mother, and as most lone-parents are female, this leaves children with no father-figure for discipline.
Reconstituted families – this is because the New Right place high value and importance on marriage and believe that couples should stay together and work on their marriages, rather than divorce.
Same-sex couples – the New Right see these families as ‘unnatural’ because there is not a man and a woman.
Murray argues that unmarried mothers form part of the ‘underclass’ in society who are welfare-dependent and a menace to society. Murray claims that the rise in unmarried mothers has led to social problems such as crime and drug abuse. Murray claims that teenage girls are deliberately getting pregnant in order to get council housing and state benefits. He suggests that welfare payments should be changed so that single mothers are no longer favoured over married mothers, and stop paying welfare benefits to unmarried mothers.
Criticisms of the New Right
- Feminists see the New Right as a form of patriarchy, arguing that attacks on single mothers are expressions of the view that a woman’s place is in the home.
- Feminists argue the traditional nuclear family is the main source of women’s oppression, and familial ideology makes problems such as domestic violence worse because many women blame themselves for being ‘bad’ mothers and wives, and therefore deserving punishment.