Sociology

Individualisation thesis criticisms

  • The individualisation exaggerates how much choice people have about family relationships.
  • We're told we have complete freedom when actually we are restricted by traditional norms - Budgeon
  • This thesis sees people as disconnected - It ignores the fact that our decisions and choices about personal relationships are made with a social context.
  • The individualisation thesis ignores how important structural factors such as social class inequalities and patriarchal gender norms are in limiting and shaping relatioships choices.
  • May claims that this is because Giddens' and Beck's view of the individual is simply and idealised version of a white, middle-class male.
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Individualisation Thesis

  • Whist not agreeing with everything postmodernisms says, Beck and Giddens came up with the idea of the individualisation thesis which revolves around the same themes as postmodernism.
  • It specifically explores the ideas that we have an individual choice affecting our families and relationships.
  • The individualisation thesis argues that traditional social structures such as class, gender and family have lost much of their influence over us.
  • According to the individualisation thesis, we have been "freed" from the traditional norms and values that kept us tied and from choosing our own family and relationships.
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Reasons for more one-person households

  • Ambition - Sharpe found a difference between the ambitions of girls in 1976 and 1994 finding that those who previously valued marriage and the family started to value education and work more. SHARPE
  • Secularisation - Religion plays less of a role in our society, and as a result people are less afraid to have a divoce, especially as it's become less socially stigmatised. WILSON
  • Individualisation - People are now more easily able to focus on their own hopes, desires and wants meaning that they can more easily choose to live on their own if they wish. BECK AND GIDDENS
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