Changing Patterns and Family Diversity

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  • Created by: Anna
  • Created on: 10-04-14 17:33
How many marriages now end in divorce?
40%- 6x more than 50 years ago.
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What are the reasons for an increase in divorces?
Legal changes, less stigma, higher expectations of marriage and changes in women's position.
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What legal changes are there?
In the 19th century, divorce was impossible. In the 20th century, legal changes made divorce easier and also cheaper.
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Why has less stigma increased the divorce rate?
Stigma is a negative label. Before divorce was stigmatised. But since the 1960s, stigma has rapidly declined. This has made divorce more acceptable, so more couples are willing to divorce. Also divorce is now more common, this further reduces stigma.
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Why has secularisation increased the divorce rate?
Secularistation is the decline in the influence of religion on society. According to Wilson, religious institutions and ideas are losing influence. So, people don't worry about divorce being unacceptable in they eyes of religion.
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What does Fletcher (1966) argue about higher expectations of marriage?
Higher expectations of marriage are leading to higher divorce rates. This is linked to the ideology of romantic love: marriage is now based purely on love , not duty or economic factors like it was in the past. If love dies there is no need to stay t
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How have changes in women's position increased the divorce rate?
Women are now in paid work- so economically independent. They may also be aware of patriarchal oppression as in the workplace they're treated equally.
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Why are there fewer marriages?
Changing attitudes- less pressure, alternatives- cohabitation is less stigmatised, Womens economic independence- they dont have to marry, the impact of feminism- women see marriage as a partiachal institution+ rising divorce rates may put people off.
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What are other marriage trends?
More re-marriage (more divorces so divorcees re marry), later marriage (more time spent in education and cohabitation may happen before) and fewer church weddings (due to secularisation and some churches not marrying divorcees).
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Why is cohabitation more common?
cohabitation before marriage is the norm- a trial marriage and it is an alternative to marriage- couples who see marriage as patriachal may opt for cohabitation for more equality.
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What does Weeks (1999) argue about civil partnerships and same-sex relationships?
Acceptance s leading to more stable relationships among gays.
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What is the main reason for 40% of children being born outside of marriage?
An increase in cohabitation.
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What are the main reasons for an increase in Lone parent families?
Increase in divorce and decline in stigma of births outside marriage,
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What do the new right blame?
Over generous welfare benefits for encouraging the 'dependency culture'.
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Why are 90% of LPFs female headed?
The belief women are still suited to the expressive role and to courts giving mothers custody.
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Why are reconstituted or stepfamilies increasing?
Due to divorce and re-marriage.
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Why are stepfamilies at higher risk of poverty?
They have more children, and may have to support children from a previous relationship.
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Why are black households more likely to be lone parent?
These accounts for 49% of black families.This may be the result of the legacy of slavery, the result of high male unemployment or black women valuing independence more highly.
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Why are Asian households likely to be larger?
The cultural importance of the extended family and the need for support for when migrating.
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What is the Functionalism perspective?
It is a modernist sociological perspective. It sees the conventional nuclear family with a division of labour based on biological differences between the husband's instrumental role and the woman's expressive role.
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What is the New Right perspective?
Its a more political than social perspective. It has had considerable influence on government policies, It takes a conservative view of the family and opposes diversity. It sees the conventional nuclear family as the only normal one.
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What does Chester (1985) argue?
Although there is some increased diversity, the nuclear family remains dominant.
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Why are statistics on household composition bad?
They are just a snapshot, so they don't show these changes in individuals' life cycles.
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What do Rapport and Rapport (1982) disagree with chester?
They see diversity as central to the family today, and argue diversity meets people's needs.
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What 5 types of diversity do Rapport and Rapport identify?
Organisational(e.g. joint or segregated conjugal roles), cultural(e.g.ethnic groups have different family structures), class(differences in practices in child rearing), lifecycle differences (pensioner c's or couples with you children)& generational
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What do postmodernists see the dominant family type as?
No dominant family type because of the choice in relationships, leading to more diverse family structures.
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What does Giddens (1992) argue?
Contraception and women's independence brought greater choice and equality to relationships. Rather than a relationship being defined by law or tradition, or as solely for the production of children, couples define it to meet their own needs.
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What does Beck (1992) argue?
Sees society as 'risk society'. People have more choice, so they are more aware of risks.
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How has the partiarchal family been undermined?
Greater gender equality and individualism (self interest now governs our actions).
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What is the negotiated family?
Equality and individualism are creating a new family type, which isn't fixed but varies according to its members' wishes. It's more equal than a patriarchal family but less stable.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What are the reasons for an increase in divorces?


Legal changes, less stigma, higher expectations of marriage and changes in women's position.

Card 3


What legal changes are there?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Why has less stigma increased the divorce rate?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Why has secularisation increased the divorce rate?


Preview of the front of card 5
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