Sociology year 11 family/perspectives

All the family topic in the GCSE sociology that I was taught

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Marxism is named after Karl Marx

Marxists believe society is based on conflict between the classes

Captialism- A society based on making profits- Is bad because the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.

They believe the working class is disadvantaged because they can't afford to get a private education

Engles- Argues that family only exists to pass on inheritance and this is bad because it advantages the upper class and the rich families stay rich without working

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Bordieu argues that there are 3 distinct tastes in society.

Legitimate taste e.g fine art, classical music

Middle brow e.g music such  as coldplay

Popular taste e.g chavs, music such as drum n' base


Working class and upper class are taught different hobbies and ways to behave and this advantages the upper class in the workplace because they are more likely to be respected.

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Patriarchy- A male dominated society


Feminist sociologists think primary socialisation is bad because it contributes to inequality between men and women because of what the children are taught


Four Types of feminists-

  • Black feminists
  • Marxist feminists
  • Liberal feminists
  • Radical feminists
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Radical Feminism & Liberal Feminism

Radical Feminism

  • Dislike all men
  • Hate patriarchy
  • Believe men and women should just be separate and not be together


Liberal Feminism

  • Want equality between men and women (not for women to control everything)
  • Will fight against unfair things for men as well as for women
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Marxist Feminists

Marxist Feminists

Believe that:

  • Women being housewives helps employers to make money because the men don't have to worry about housework or childcare so are more productive
  • Women work more cheaply
  • Women provide children as workers
  • Women are used as a 'reserve army of labour' e.g in WW2
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Women's Roles

Double Burden

When women do two things:

  • Domestic work and childcare
  • Have a career


Triple Shift (Duncombe and Marsden (1995))

When women have to do three things:

  • Emotional Support
  • Paid work
  • Childcare
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Symmetrical Family

Symmetrical Family- Young and Willmott (1973)


Symmetrical family-where conjugal roles are becoming similar but not identical. Sometimes sociologists use the words 'shared', 'joint' or 'intergrated' conjugal roles instead.

It developed first among middle-class and upper class but then spread to the working class

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The New Right

The New Right

Believe that:

  • Collapsing morals and lone parent families lead to other problems such as crime and drug use. They believe in the nuclear family being the most effective
  • Schools should teach more about how teen pregnancy is wrong
  • The welfare state has encouraged dependency. It has created lazy people who don't want to work
  • We need to return to strong religious values if we are to return to a more stable society.
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Functionalist Sociologists

If Society does not function effectively then there will be a state of Anomie (normlessness) leading to chaos

The Four Functions of the family:

  • Reproduction
  • Primary socialisation
  • Economic provision
  • Emotional gratification

Functionalists ignore all problems/ Deviant behaviour

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The warm bath theory

The Warm Bath Theory

The warm bath theory was created by Talcott Parsons

He says that mums are like a warm bath because they are:

  • Supporting
  • Comforting
  • Warm
  • Relaxing
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Types of Families

Types of families

Nuclear Family- A mother, father and dependant children. The traditional Family-Man is the breadwinner, Woman is the housewife (traditionally but this is changing)

Extended family- Nuclear family with other relatives living in the house. There is vertically extended (grandparents) and horizontally extended (Uncles and Aunties)

Single Parent family- One parent (more commonly the woman) and dependent children

Reconstituted family- New family created after divorce/separation. Step parents, step children and step-siblings

Same sex family- Two parents of the same sex and dependent children

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Household & Family

Household- A group of people who live together, they may or may not be related by blood or marriage

Family-  A form of household where all the people who live together are related through either blood or marriage.

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Divorce- The legal termination of a marriage

Separation- Spouses are still legally married but don't live together

Empty shell marriages- Spouses are still legally married and live together but are only married in name.


Number of Divorces in the UK has risen steadily since the 1960's

It rose most sharply between 1960 and 1980

There was a small drop in 1994. But then continued to rise

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Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

Affects- 1 in 4 women                                                                                                              1 in 7 men

Luckhurst- Studied domestic abuse against men                                           Created a helpline called: it does happen and he found then men (the same as women) are at risk of repeat victimisation but are less likely to report it then women

Donovan- Studied domestic abuse in same sex relationships                          Found that it Affects 40% of women                                                                                                          35% of men in same sex relationships

Help the Aged- Studied abuse against the elderly                                                 46% of abused elderly are abused by relatives                                                   25% of abused elderly are abused by their children

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Child Abuse

Child Abuse

Four types of child abuse:

  • Neglect
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse

On average one child under ten is killed per week from child abuse

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Monogamy- 1 Husband and 1 wife

Serial monogamy- Remarrying after divorce (often many times)

Polygamy- Having more than 1 wife                                                              Polyandry- Having more than 1 husband

In the Nayar Tribe women can sleep with upto 12 men, other than their husband

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Multicultural Families

Black Families:

  • Most likely to be single parents
  • Most likely for parent to work

Asian Families:

  • Most likely to be nuclear family or extended family
  • Get married younger
  • More arranged marriages
  • Less likely to divorce

White Families:

  • Most likely to divorce
  • Most likely to live off benefits
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Sharon Morris

Very good

Alice Sarah Guttridge

He doesn't say "mum's" are like a warm bath Parsons said the family was


thank you **

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