AS Postmodernity & Life Course Analysis with T. Harevens

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AS Postmodernity & Life Course Analysis with T. Harevens

  1. 1. Postmodernity and the Life Course<br />AS Sociology<br />
  2. 2. Life Course Analysis<br />Name to remember: Tamara Hareven (1978)<br />Idea is that there is flexibility and variation in people’s family life choices.<br />LCA focuses on the meanings people give to their life events and choices.<br />Strengths of this Method:<br />Focuses on what individuals in the family find important, not what sociologist traditionally find important.<br />Very suitable for studying modern families where there is greater choice about personal relationships and more family diversity. Families are increasingly the result of choices made by their members.<br />
  3. 3. Family Practices<br />Name to Remember: David Morgan (1996)<br />Describes how the routine actions of family life give us a sense of ‘being a family member’<br />Examples:<br />Feeding children, doing D.I.Y., washing up, laundry, washing the dog etc…<br />Are influenced by our beliefs about our rights and obligations within the family.<br />Example:<br />Some men might see feeding/changing/bathing children as ‘women’s work’.<br />
  4. 4. Conflict within Family Practices<br />Family practice allows us to see why & how conflict arise by:<br />Morgan explains that different members of the family may hold differing beliefs or expectations about each other’s responsibilities which give rise to conflict within the family.<br />
  5. 5. Morgan’s Analysis of Family<br />Morgan prefers the concept of Family Practiceto that of family Structure as a way of describing how we construct our life course and relationships.<br />Why?<br />Families are not concrete ‘things’ or structures– but are what people actually do.<br />Argues family practice gets us “closer to the realities of everyday experience” of family life than structural approaches such as functionalism. This is because of our greater freedom to choose how we organise our relationships.<br />Says society is becoming more fragmented, less clear cut and boundaries between friendship, family etc… are becoming more and more blurred.<br />
  6. 6. Check Your Learning Activity<br />In pairs, 5 minutes<br />Make a list of at least 10 points during the course of a lifetime when choices might have to be made about families, households or relationships.<br />Examples: like whether or not to move into sheltered accommodation, divorcing….<br />

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