Postmodernist Perspective of the Family

  • Created by: m_ali31
  • Created on: 25-04-15 12:46

Postmodernist Perspective of the Family

  • Hold the view that because of social and cultural changes there's a wider range of living options and family types
  • Judith Stacey: People have the ability to change family types without being stuck, depends on lifestyle and needs. 
  • No set family structure is ideal
  • Lack certain political or traditional views 
  • Different family types no longer stigmatised e.g. homosexual couples


1) Recognizes modern society and progress

2) Underestimates the continuing appeal of nuclear family in society

3) Not enough evidence or research means it ignores political and social differences e.g. single parent families due to social problems rather than what they want. 

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Social Policy and the Family

The state can affect the family in many ways: 

1) Secondary socialisation 

2) Legal changes

3) Housing, health, and care in the community policies 

New Right 1979-1997:

  • Nuclear family provides stability as well as passing on work ethic to their children
  • should be responsible for looking after their elderly
  • Charles Murray- underclass created through overgenerous welfare benefits
  • Cohabiting couples could no longer claim more in tax allowances
  • Some argue that they had a more balanced approach than their ideology suggested. 


  • Family is patriarchal and favours men
  • favours policies which give more choice to women and independence 
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Social Policy and the Family

Post 1997 Labour Policy

  • More willing to accept family diversity
  • allowed civil partnerships
  • EMA and bursaries provided to children who came from disadvanted backgrounds (often single parent families) 
  • Doubled maternity  pay and care
  • Lone mothers were helped 
  • social investment in children was important (Sure start introduced) 
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