Topic 2- Traditional family and changing life course

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Topic 2- Life course

Life Course- Refers to sequence of significant events individiuals experiance, the choices they make

  • Transition from childhood to adulthood- Events; Marriage, Parenthood, Divorce & Retirement

  • In the past: Strongly infulenced by traditional social norms& customs

LEVIN (2004)- LC was "compulsary",Social norms. Family unit- Socially approved format= "Cereal packet family"

ALLAN& CROW (2011)- 20th century to 1960's fairly standard life course, following a set sequence of events age related 

LEWIS (2011)- Individuals have greater freedom of choice in personal behaviour

MAY (2011)- Personal relationships take on diverse forms

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Topic 2- Confluent love

Confluent Love- Active& unconditional love, emotional intimacy

BECK- GERNSHEIM- Love (rather than pratical necessity) now guides peoples approaches to relationship

GIDDENS (1993)- Changing landscape of love as a move away from what he calls "romantic love" Intimate relationships are characterized by active building of personal trust.

LINKS CL to "Pure Relationship" couple who stay together because they choose to- Meets their emotional& sexual needs

CHAMBERS (2012)- Pure relationships are not "Forever"- Do not involve long term commitment, enforced by external pressures



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Topic 2- The Individualisation Thesis

The Individualisation Thesis- The process whereby traditional social relationships, roles& beliefs lose their influence

BECK-GERNSHEIM (2002)- Process whereby traditional social, relationships values-lose infulence. Traditional rules governing peoples lives have weakened, become more fluid,unclear& uncertain- People have more personal choices, more options

BECK-GERNSHEIM (2002)- Underlying cause of growing individualisation lie in developments in modern medicine - No longer clear who or what is part of the family

BAUMAN (2003)- World of growing individualisation, human bonds are weak

CHAMBERS (2012)- Central reason for key changes in ideas- love commitement& family decline

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Topic 2- All you need is love& Criticisms of theor

  • Growth of individualisation lies behind the growing diversity of familes/households & new forms of of personal relationships

BECK (1995)- Love is the only place where people can truly find themselves

GIDDENS (2013)- "People marry for the sake of love, divorce for the sake of love and engage in an endless cycle of hoping regretting& trying again"


  • People still influnced in choice, factors : Social class, gender and ethnicity

SMART (2007)- Individulisation thesis exaggerates extent of family decline

CHAMBERS (2012)- "Cereal Packet family"- Most people still committed to values

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