Family Sociologists

Engels (marxist)
Family is to keep wealth within the bourgeoise by passing it on through inheritance.
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Parsons (family's 2 functions)
1. Primary socialisation-to teach children norms and values of society. 2. Stabilisation of adult personalities- emotional support between parents, sanction from everyday life (warm bath theory).
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Murdock (4 functions)
1. Reproduction. 2. Satisfaction of sex drive. 3. Socialisation. 4. Meeting economic needs.
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Morgan (criticism of murdock)
Murdock makes no reference to any other household than the nuclear family. Functionalists ignore any disharmony in the family.
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Delphy and Leonard (feminists)
Family is a patriarchal institution where woman do most of the work and men get most of the benefit.
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Gittens (childhood)
There is an 'age patriarchy' where adults have authority over children. Using things like 'protection' from payed employment so children don't have their own money ect.
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Postman (childhood)
Childhood is disappearing. Children can access anything that adults can access and soon our definitions of adulthood and childhood will change.
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Bonke (chilhood/feminism)
Girls perform more chores than brothers, especially in lone parent families.
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Aries (childhood)
Concept of childhood in Western Europe has only existed for around 300 years, before this children took on adult roles as soon as they were physically capable. People realised children needed nurture and care around industrialisation, housewife role.
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Jane Pilcher (childhood)
Highlighted separateness of childhood from other life phases eg. children have different rights/laws protecting them.
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Why had divorce increased so much in UK?
1.It is more readily available. 2.Socially acceptable. 3,Women have higher expectations of how they should be treated. 4. Women have better opportunities so don't rely on husbands. 5. Marriage more based on emotional fulfilment not economic need.
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Which household types have increased in UK in recent years?
Single Person/lone parent. Multi-family-Grandparents living with children and grandchildren. Cohabitation (doubled since 1996). Beanpole families (people having less children).
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Giddens (late modernist)
There has been an increase in family diversity because; individual choice dictates relationships, class/gender roles have less influence, no expectations from society.
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What proportion of violent crime in the UK is estimated to be domestic violence?
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Children Act 1989
State can intervene if social workers are concerned about children's safety eg. at risk of abuse.
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Dobash and Dobash (radical feminists)
Police don't usually record violent crime of husbands against wives.
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Edgell (feminist)
Men have decision making power over important things but women only had power over small decisions. Down to men typically earning more money than women.
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Elizabeth Bott (roles)
Segregated roles are where husband and wife share roles but there is clear divide between men roles and women roles. Joint roles are where roles done by husband and wife are less defined for each so decision making a leisure time is shared too.
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Oakley (criticism of Both)
In Bott's study men only had to do a few things around the house to qualify for joint roles. The study overlooked the total amount of time spent on housework by a woman eg. childcare is 24/7.
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Coalition government 2010-2015 (family stability)
Promoted marriage+removed coupled penalty which made those on benefits better off living apart. 2014-legalised same sex marriage. 2015-cap on child benefit to reduce amount of children people had.
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How have government policies affected family types?
Labour 1948-supported families through benefits, social housing and NHS. Conservative (1979) cut benefits to encourage people to take responsibility. New Labour 1997-civil partnership and cohabiting couples to adopt.
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Young and Willmott (family structures)
Families have developed through 3 stages: 1. Pre-industrial production unit. 2. Early industrial extended family. 3. Privatised nuclear-unit of consumption-symmetrical.
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Helen Wilkinson (symmetrical family)
Economy has moved away from the manual sector towards the service sector which is more female dominated so ore women are in work.
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2 criticisms of Young and Willmotts theory
1. Ignores negative aspects of the modern nuclear family eg.domestic/child abuse. 2. Feminists argue equal roles do not exist now.
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Laslett and Anderson
The extended family was just as prominent as the nuclear family during industrialisation as people moved in with their relatives to urban areas for work.
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Stacey (postmodernist)
There will never be one dominant family type again as family types are so diverse and flexible as people can move from one to another and women have more freedom than ever to shape their family arrangement.
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Charles Murray (New Right)
Welfare benefits are too high which creates a 'dependency culture' where people find it easier to be on benefits than to work-traditional families are under threat because of this.
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3 criticisms of the feminist view of the family
1. Portrays women as passive and incapable to make change. 2. Doesn't consider households which aren't a man and women partnership. 3. Black feminists-feminist theories tend to ignore that woman from different backgrounds have different experiences.
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Benston (marxist feminist)
If women were payed even minimum wage for the housework they do it would damage capitalist profits massively.
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2 criticisms of marxist view of family
1.Entirely focused on economy-ignores benefits to individuals or society. Assumes workers are male and housewives are female-outdated.
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Zaretsky (marxist)
Proletariat workers have their own power and control when they get home to receive frustration helping them to accept oppression.
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Parsons (family types)
The dominant family type changed from extended to nuclear during industrialisation because it was the best fit for society at the time.
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Social policy can be used by the state to control families. Professionals eg. health care visitors can use their knowledge to control family behaviour.
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In what year was the welfare state brought in by the labour government?
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Bell (feminist)
There is an 'economy of emotion' within all families and women have the responsibility of running it.
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Duncombe and Marsden (feminists)
Women are expected to do paid work, childcare and emotional support amounting to a 'triple shift'.
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Oakley (feminist)
The role of the housewife was socially constructed during industrialisation when people went out to work instead of working at home.
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Sommerville (liberal feminist)
Many feminists fail to acknowledge the improvements for women such as greater freedom in paid work and more choice in when to have children or get married or cohabit.
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Fran Ansley (marxist feminist)
Women are the 'takers of ****'; they absorb the frustration that their male partner feels due to exploitation at work.
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Millet (radical feminist)
The family is patriarchy's chief institution mainly because it socialises the young into patriarchal ideology.
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Feeley (marxist feminist)
The family socialises the young into false class consciousness transmitting the idea that you have to be passive in society (patriarchy).
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What statistics did Stanko find about domestic violence?
There are 570,000 cases of domestic violence reported in the UK every year. A woman is killed by her current or former partner every 3 days in England and Wales.
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In what year was the **** law changed so that husbands couldn't have sex with their wife against her will?
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How does Phillips criticise feminism?
She highlights the fact that women abuse men too and male victims are often ignored.
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Why do new right thinkers believe the nuclear family should be the only family type?
The rate of family breakdown is much lower amongst married couples, children from broken homes are 5x more likely to have emotional problems and 9x more likely to be young offenders, lone parent families are 2x more likely to live in poverty.
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Beck (late modernist)
Less people are getting married due to risk consciousness as they know that a lot of marriages end in divorces. Although the nuclear family was oppressive it gave society stability.
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Hillman et al (childhood)
Studied children aged 7-15 and found that parents generally gave boys more freedom than girls to go out by themselves and after dark.
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Jenks (childhood)
The 20th century was very much based on the future of the child, as they were the future of our society adults sacrificed things to protect children.
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Palmer (childhood)
Children now experience toxic childhood where they are more exposed to violence and sexually active leading to teenage pregnancy and self harm ect. Childrens development is damaged by technological advancement.
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Give a statistic of falling birth rates
There were 1 million births in 1901 and 700,000 in 2014.
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Whats the TFR (total fertility rate) for women in 1941 compared to 2014?
1941=2.34 2014=1.83
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What factors have influenced women to have less children?
Contraception is readily available, children are expensive and time consuming so people may want to spend their money another way, women now have the choice to have a career over children.
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What is the current infant mortality rate?
Less than 0.5.
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Why do we have an ageing population?
The TFR isn't as high as it needs to be to replace the existing population. The number and proportion of older people is higher meaning the median age of a population is higher.
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What proportion of the population is expected to be over 65 by 2035?
Almost a quarter
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What affect does an ageing population have?
It created a burden of care as older people need looking after, but there is also a decline in working age people so we struggle to meet the needs of older people
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Hirsch (ageing population)
People will either have to work into their 70s or pay more taxes to contribute towards their cost of health in later life.
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Peter Townsend Report
Discovered there was a higher proportion of older people in poverty than younger-underclass of old people because they couldn't rely on income anymore-WC more likely to experience this.
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Pilcher (women's pension)
Women's pensions are likely to be smaller than men because they are more likely to take time out of work for childcare ect.
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What was the net migration rate (amount of people moving in minus people moving out) in 2014-15?
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What led to a wave of mass immigration in 1948?
The British Nationality Act which meant than people living in the British Commonwealth could settle in the UK.
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What are some positives of high net migration?
They lower the age of the population as they tend to be young and of working age, their fertility rate is higher, led to an increase in family diversity due to increased multi family households.
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Chester (functionalist)
Believes that the growth in family diversity has been exaggerated as the nuclear family remains the dominant family type but they are becoming more symmetrical.
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Murray (new right)
Single mother families are a cause of more crime because they lack a male role model to implement obedience.
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May (postmodernist)
The individualism theory ignores the differing levels of choice offered to different social groups eg. those who are not white, middle class males.
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Middle class area of the UK have a higher than normal proportion of nuclear family types whereas inner city WC areas are more likely to have lone parent families.
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Donovan et al
There has been an increase in gay and lesbian households since the 1980s due to changes in attitudes and legislation.
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In what year was the divorce reform act and what did it mean?
1969-allowed couples to divorce after they had been separated for 2 years or 5 years if only one of them wanted it, neither partner no longer needed to prove fault.
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Give an example of how divorce is still unequal
1996 white vs white case husband and wife ran a farming business worth 4.5 million, wife was only awarded 800,000 until she appealed and got 1.5 million-made people realise assets should be split more fairly.
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In 2012 what % of lone parent families were headed by women?
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What year was the equal pay act?
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


1. Primary socialisation-to teach children norms and values of society. 2. Stabilisation of adult personalities- emotional support between parents, sanction from everyday life (warm bath theory).


Parsons (family's 2 functions)

Card 3


1. Reproduction. 2. Satisfaction of sex drive. 3. Socialisation. 4. Meeting economic needs.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Murdock makes no reference to any other household than the nuclear family. Functionalists ignore any disharmony in the family.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Family is a patriarchal institution where woman do most of the work and men get most of the benefit.


Preview of the back of card 5
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