Who are New Right Thinkers?
New Right thinkers are usually journalists and conservative politicians rather than sociologists. They believe strongly in tradition and think the family is in decline.
John Redwood a Conservative MP (1993) claimed that;
"The natural state should be the two-adult (male/female coupling) family caring for their children."
Valerie Riches, founder and president of Family and Youth Concern said in an interview with The Guardian in 2000;
- Sex education harms the young and undermines the family.
- Sending childless but married women to work means the 'mascuoline role as a provider and father' is being destroyed.
- Gay couples using surrogates is 'against the natural order of things'
- Single-parent familes are unacceptable
- The morning-after pill encourages girls to be 'easy and carefree'
Charles Murray (1984) claims
"Young men choose not to take jobs and many turn to violent street crime and drug abuse because they lack male role models. Men need to leasrn 'discipline' and responsibility.
Female headed households are dependent on welfare.
The nuclear family is the only type that can effectively socialise children."
He however, argues that an underclass has been created through over-generous welfare payments, especially single parents. Single parenthood is harmful to society because it encourages irresponsible behaviour amongst children who copy the parents. Sons of single mothers miss an adult role model of a hard working and responsible father taking care of his family. Daughters of single mothers may follow in the mothers footsteps by having children outside of a stablle relationships, often while they are young and then relying upon state benefits.
Norman Dennis and George Erdos
Norman Dennis and George Erdos (2000) claimed
- Children of single mothers are disadvantaged. They have poorer health and lower educational attainment.
- Boys do not learn responsibility from a male role model so are irresponsible, immature and anti-social.
- Familes aren't 'changing' they are deteriorating.
- Postmodernists see the declining dominance of nuclear families as part of wider changes in society that are unlikely to be halted by changes in gonvernment policies and are in some ways desirable.
- Feminists believe that the increase in divorce and single parenthood can be beneficial for women excaping violent, abusiive or explotative relationships with men.
- Some sociologists believe that New Right Thinkers exaggerate the extent to which family life has changed.
- New Right views promote value and judgments and suggest one tupe of the family is better than another.
- They have an idealised view of the past.
- They promote victim-blaming by saying people cause thei own probelms when really they may be the result of poverty or other issues.