AS Sociology: An in Depth Look at Giddens, Beck, Stacey & Weeks
AS Sociology <br />Postmodernist Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck, Judith Stacey & Jeffry Weeks<br />
Giddens (1992).<br />Argues over recent decade the family and marriage have been transformed by greater choice and equality between men and women.<br />Relationships are free to exist based on sex and intimacy rather than procreation thanks to contraception.<br />The advent of Feminism has given women greater opportunities in education and work and thus, has provided them greater independence.<br />Choice and Equality<br />
<ul><li>As a result, marriage is no longer defined by law or tradition leaving the two parties to define their relationship according to their personal beliefs about what makes a relationship positive and functional.
Describes this as a ‘Pure Relationship’. Meaning the relationship exists solely to meet each partner’s needs and will continue only so long as it succeeds in doing so.
Notes that with greater choice, personal relationships inevitable become less stable and can be ended by either party at any time.</li></ul>Giddens Argues the Following…<br />
Ulrich Beck<br />‘Risk Society’ and the Negotiated Family<br />
Argues similarly to Giddens.<br />Says we live in a ‘risk society’, where tradition has less influence and people have more choice.<br />Thus we are more aware of risk.<br />We calculate the risks and rewards of different actions and decisions.<br />This contrasts well with previous generations where people’s roles were more fixed and they had less choice.<br />Example:<br />Everyone was expected to marry. Once married, children produced, women were expected to look after the house and children. <br />Men were the wage-earners/decision makers and disciplinarians.<br />‘Risk Society’<br />
There have been two trends which have undermined the Patriarchal Family:<br />Greater Gender Equality: challenges male dominance in all spheres of life. Women expect equality in marriage and work.<br />Greater Individualism: Actions are based on calculation based on self-interest instead of a sense of obligation to others.<br />This trend has given rise to a new form of the family, called the NegotiatedFamily.<br />Beck: Undermining the Patriarchal Family<br />
What is it?<br />The Negotiated family is a family which does not conform to any one standard or traditional family norm.<br />It varies according to the wishes and expectations of their members who decide what is best for themselves through negotiation– they enter the relationship on an equal basis.<br />Downside?<br />Less stable since member can leave if their needs are not being fulfilled.<br />Negotiated Family<br />
Check Your Understanding:<br />In pairs, suggest three reasons why there is now greater gender equality in the family and society?<br />