AS Sociology: Focus on Stacey and Weeks


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AS Sociology: Focus on Stacey and Weeks

  1. 1. Revision classes covering Judith Stacey & Jeffry Weeks<br />AS Sociology<br />
  2. 2. Active sociologist in 1998 who argued that greater choice for women gives them the ability to break out of patriarchal oppression and shape their families to their needs. <br />What other theorists says this?<br />She bases this on primary research interviews called ‘case studies’ of postmodern families in Silicon Valley, CA in the US.<br />Judith Stacey: the divorce-extended family<br />
  3. 3. Women (not men) are the main agents of change in the family.<br />Many rejected traditional housewife-mother role, choosing to work, returned to education to improve job prospects, divorced and remarried.<br />Stacey's Findings<br />
  4. 4. Women created new types of families that better suited their needs.<br />Example of new families<br />Divorce-extended: members are connected via divorce rather than marriage.<br />Key members are usually female, sometimes former in-laws, such as mother and daughter in-laws or a man’s ex-wife and new partner.<br />Examples can be found on page 77 in your textbooks.<br />Stacey's Conclusions<br />
  5. 5. Stacey’s research supports Morgan’s (1996) ideas that it would by silly to try to make large-scale generalisations about ‘the family’, which is what we have seen the functionalists do.<br />Advises sociologist should give more attention to HOW people create their own diverse family lives and practices.<br />Critique<br />
  6. 6. Active sociologist in 2000 who identifies long term shift in attitudes since 1950’s.<br />How so?<br />Sexual morality has become mostly a matter of personal choice.<br />Church and State have lost their power to influence individual morality<br />Growing acceptance of sexual and family diversity esp. in under 35’s. Attitude is favourable toward issues of cohabitation and homosexuality.<br />Jeffrey Weeks: Growing acceptance of diversity<br />
  7. 7. Weeks says for the most part, they are NOT changing despite the shift in attitude.<br />He finds family patters continue to be fairly traditional , i.e.:<br />Most children are brought up by couples.<br />Most people still live as families<br />Most couples still marry<br />Many divorcees re-marry.<br />Weeks: Are Family Patters changing?<br />
  8. 8. Weeks argues that sexual and family diversity are now a widely accepted fact of society.<br />As such…<br />The New Right’s persistence in opposing family diversity is a loosing battle they cannot hope to win.<br />Weeks' Criticism of New Right<br />
  9. 9. Functionalist s and the New Right oppose greater family diversity.<br />They believe there is only one ‘best’ or normal type of family.<br />The best family structure according to them is the traditional, patriarchal nuclear family– mum, dad, dependant children with a division of labour between an ‘instrumental’ male wage earner, and an ‘expressive’ female housewife/mother role.<br />Arguments Against Diversity<br />
  10. 10. They argue it is natural, based on biological diff. between men and women that suit them to diff. roles.<br />Nuclear family seen as best suited to meet needs of society and its members.<br />Other family types are seen as dysfunctional, like for example, New Right seeing lone-parent homes causing juvenile delinquency.<br />Arguments Against Diversity: Why?<br />
  11. 11. <ul><li>Postmodernists and Feminists are in favour of diversity.
  12. 12. Reject New Right’s view that only the Nuclear Family is proper.
  13. 13. Post/Fem’s cite Weeks’ view that family is simply whatever arrangements those involved choose to call a family.
  14. 14. So, family is not ‘natural’ but socially constructed by its members.
  15. 15. Stacey sees it as desirable as it gives people the right to choose their personal relationships and ways of living based on their needs. Women are liberated from traditional patriarchal family.</li></ul>In Favour of Diversity: Why?<br />
  16. 16. There is a continuing importance of the factors concerning patriarchy and class inequality in restricting people’s choices and shaping family life.<br />Family Diversity's Future<br />
  17. 17. Quiz on the Revision thus far…Answer the following to the best of your ability on a separate sheet of paper.<br />True or False? The New Right favour greater welfare spending to meet the needs of lone-parent families.<br />True or False? In Chester’s view, the only important change in the family has been a move from the dominance of the conventional nuclear family, to the neo-conventional family.<br />Complete the list of the Rapoports’ five types of family diversity: cultural, social class…<br />True or False? Functionalism is a modernist perspective.<br />
  18. 18. 5. Identify two factors Giddens believes has led to greater choice and more equal relationships between men and women.<br />6. Why does Beck see the negotiated family as less stable?<br />7.What does Stacey by the divorced extended family?<br />Quiz continued…<br />