Three stages of society

  • Pre-industrial society - life was stable and very predictable. Traditional roles existed and everyone's roles were fixed.
  • Modern society - there is less stability and predictability within society. Instead of acting as religious leaders have told them to, people calculate how they should act to achieve goals. Social life is less predictable and increased uncertainty and change is introduced.
  • Postmodern society - even more choices are opened up to the individual and their identity becomes less fixed. This leads to more uncertainty and change. 
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Postmodern views

Basis of economy - services/knowledge economy

Social classes - classes will lose significance

Main belief system - no dominant belief system

Main source of identity - diverse and image/lifestyle based. Ethnicity and sexuality will become more important. 

Geographical basis of social life - Global

Family life - greater choice and variety develops in sexuality and in families and households

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Beck and Beck Gernsheim - believe we have not entered postmodernist society and we are still living in modern day society. They think families have changed as a result of changes that have taken place in the modern era. 

Judith Stacey's Claim and Research - Believes in post-modern family in the USA. Silicon Valley, California - number of families varied in structure and nobody thought any type was the best. There was a lot of divorce, remarriage, break ups and makeups.  

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