We are only spending ONE LESSON ON OUR BRAINSTORM!
Our family overview
Having an OVERALL understanding of sociologists
view of the family is imperative to get a good
It shouldn’t matter what you are asked as long as
you know your sociologists arguments and you
can write a good essay!
• ALL of us will be able to identify the
sociological theories studied so far
• MOST of us will describe the theorists linked
to each of these schools of thought
• SOME of us will be able to explain the
criticisms of at least two
AIM- to complete our revision
brainstorm for next weeks MOCK
Period 1 today- you should have some key theorists in
front of you. An A3 sheet of paper, scissors and a glue
• You have 15 minutes to cut these up and
arrange these around your family
• Collate all of the theorists that go together
under each theory but do NOT stick anything
What type of theory and why?
Which two main theorists?
What did they argue?
What are the criticisms?
MURDOCKS DEFINITION IS
ALSO VERY ETHNOCENTRIC
(based on American
families)- suggests other
cultures family types are
Who is Laslett?
• Survey of parish records shows families in the
pre- industrial revolution times were Nuclear
and NOT EXTENDED
Willmot and Young (1973) carried out a study in
Bethnal Green in 1960s
• Showed extended families only started to go
into decline because the welfare states
housing was geared to Nuclear families
• Compulsory education meant there was less
need for mutual support from the family
• They said this encouraged emergence of the
‘Symmetrial Family’ – they agreed with
Parsons that the Nuclear family would be the
most dominant by the 1990s
Willmott and Young…
• Argued modern marriage is categorised by
joint conjugal roles- sharing household tasks
• ANN OAKLEY-FEMINIST-DISAGREES!
• She argues there study was unreliable- only
asked one question
• Elston surveyed 400 couples who were both
Doctors- 80% of the women took time off
when their child was poorly
Functionalist- nuclear family good or
Why do they disagree with other family types?
What theory are they most linked to?
The NEW RIGHT
Linked to which Government?
Which time period?
What was their main argument?
Who is the main theorist here?
What is Dependency culture?
• Sexual permissiveness is the main cause of
moral decay in the UK
• Decriminalising homosexuality and abortion
Although this view has been criticised!
• Tax and welfare policies have generally
favoured heterosexual couples
• Payment of child benefit to the Mother and
lack of free nursery care has reinforced Mums
should stay at home
• ALLAN (1985) ARGUES THESE POLICIES HAVE
Very contemporary example!- married
couples tax break
• The plan is to make up to £1,000 of a person's
income tax personal allowance transferable
between adults who are married or in a civil
Couples who will qualify for
this tax break are those in
marriages or civil
partnerships, which according
to the government should be
more than 4 million couples
Nuclear family good or bad?
What does it benefit?
What is Capitalism?
Socialises children into what?
Capitalist IDEOLOGYchildren learn obedience
and rules. Inequality is
Who are the key theorists?
• Engels- families economic role is to maintain
wealth and money is kept in the family
through inheritance- nuclear families are the
only type who can protect this
• Nuclear family supports capitalism by women
being an unpaid labour force
• Also believe nuclear family act as a ‘safety
• when men go home they are ‘king of the
• Nuclear family socialises children into
capitalist ideology- false class consciousness
• Unit of consumption- encouraged by
ideological institutions like the mass media to
buy ‘false needs’ e.g. designer clothes
Berger and Kellner
• Roles in the family are an ‘on going
construction’- means as children grow older
their position in the family changes anyway
• What do they argue?
• Benston (1972)- argue nuclear family provides
the basic commodity required by capitalismrearing future work force and keeping
husbands healthy through domestic labour
• Women are like sponges- what did they mean by
• Men may attempt to make up for lack of power at
work by exerting power in the home
• Dobash and Dobash- women may suffer domestic
violence if they challenge mans authority
• ‘March of progress’
• Boys and girls learn through gender
• Women benefitted from social policy- Equality
Act, changes in divorce laws, rape in marriage
now being a crime
• Wilkinson- GENDERQUAKE- womens main
priority is now their jobs rather than
A liberal feminist still wouldn’t be
happy about this….
BUT…..in regard to the family
they recognise men are more
likely to take a more
EGALITARIAN ROLE NOW
Although the mass media may
have a way to go to improve
their representation of
Remember you need evidence!
• Number of house-husbands triples in 15 years
as number of women who are family's main
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2092053/Househusbands-triple-15years-number-women-familys-main-breadwinner-soars.html#ixzz2mtnDePmh
• Millett- modern societies characterised by
• This is due to gender role socialisation
• CRITICISED BY HAKIM (1995)
• 1) for being dated
• 2) for not considering females may choose to
be mothers and housewives
• Number of social changes undermine traditional
• Social policy
• Plastic sexuality- ‘being in love for now’ GIDDENS
• Some women choose to be childless
• Range of contraceptives
• Same sex marriages
• Welfare state
Evidence we can use throughout our family
• Majority of people in Britain still marry and
surveys suggest most people still see at as a
• Chester (1985) argues people are simply delaying
marriage until later
• About 30% of births are with cohabiting couples
rather than married couples (ONS)
• Fletcher (1988) argues births conceal traditional
nuclear families just without the marriage
• Argues if trend continues 40% of marriages
will end in divorce
• MATRIMONIAL AND FAMILY PROCEEDINGS
ACT (1984)- couples can start petitioning after
• 1990s 75% of these petitions were started by
• Hart (1976)- women increasingly unhappy due
to dual burden
This is our knowledge!
• We can answer ANY ESSAY QUESTION as long
as we structure it correctly
• Include the correct understanding and
• The apply/ analyse/ assess/ evaluate for AO2