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  1. 1. <ul><li>Families and Households </li></ul><ul><li>Unit 1 </li></ul><ul><li>AS Revision </li></ul>
  2. 2. Family, social structure and social change (Topic 1) After industrialisation, a large number of households were shared by extended kin who functioned as a mutual economic support system. (use to criticize Parsons) Anderson (1971) Suggested only 10% of pre industrial households contained extended kin -Laslett obtained evidence from English parish records (use Laslett to criticize Parson) Laslett (1972) Pre industrial families were based on extended kinship networks and were multi functional after structural differentiation occurred where specialized agencies took over many functions of the pre industrial famil, the nuclear family was left with two specialised functions- socialisation of children and stabilisation of adult personalities. Parsons (1965) ‘ it is not just that many people think of women as the most appropriate carers of the children but rather that we all act on this belief in our daily lives ……….” (see page 73) Bernardes (1997) The traditional view of the family is a powerful conservative ideology about what families should look like and undermines other diverse families e.g lone parent, same sex couples Conservative ideology A heterosexual relationship based on romantic love, the female role is concerned with motherhood and housework, the male role provides and protects the family and is a disciplinary role model- children are the outcome of their parents love Features of the traditional nuclear family ‘ ’ The family is a social group characterised by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults’ Murdock (1949) (his definition focused on the nuclear family )
  3. 3. Family, social structure and social change (Topic 1- continued) After industrialisation women were excluded from paid work and redefined as mothers and housewives. Men dominated paid work, political and cultural power. The nuclear family meets the needs of men rather than all members of society. Radical feminist view The nuclear family is important to capitalism because it rears the future workforce at little cost to the capitalist state. Women’s domestic labour and sexual services also help to maintain the present workforce’s physical and emotional fitness. Margaret Benston(1972) (marxist feminist) Working class families are encouraged to pursue ‘false needs’ in the form of consumer goods. Marcuse (1964) (Marxist) The nuclear family is an ideological apparatus that promotes values and ways of thinking essential to maintenance of capitalism . Marxist view The movement towards the Nuclear family unit was not as sudden as Parsons Suggested but more gradual. The extended family went into decline in the 1960s when Working class families were rehoused. The nuclear family or symmetrical family only became the norm in Britain in the late 20th century. Willmott and Young (1957)
  4. 4. Functions of the family -(Topic 2) ‘ parents today are encouraged to believe they have a special responsibility to ensure every child grows up happy. Strong, confident, articulate, literate, and skilled in every possible respect’ Cheal (2002) Stabilisation of adult personalities- (2nd feature of warm bath theory) The family relieves the stresses of modern day living for its adult members Parsons (1955) (functonalist) Socialisation of children -(1st specialised feature of ‘warm bath theory’) Nuclear family is a personality factory -the family acts as a bridge between children and wider society by teaching the children the norms and values of society Parsons (1955) ‘Warm Bath theory’- (two specialised functions provided by the family) (functionalist ) Murdock fails to acknowledge that families are the product of culture rather than biology, therefore family relationships and roles take different forms within a society and in different societies depending on opportunities and environment. View of Interpretivist sociologists Nuclear family is universal and performs four functions. 1. Reproductive- procreation within nuclear family. 2. Sexual-marital sex encourages fidelity and contributes to social order. 3Educational- children are socialised into the norms and values of their culture 4. Economic- adult family members show care and protection to their dependents which maintains family standards. Murdock (1949) (functionalist)
  5. 5. Functions of the family -(Topic 2- continued) studied Children between ages 8 -14 found they regarded love, mutual respect and care as essential functions of the family, absent relatives and pets were regarded as family members. Morrow (1998) ‘ girls, through play, through the chores they did and through formal schooling would learn the right kinds of attitudes and skills to perform their adult role of homemaker and mother. Boys, by the same token were aimed squarely at the role of breadwinner………………….’ (see page 81) (note: -you don’t have to use the whole quote, but put dotted lines to show that you have used part of it) Chapman (2000) Family and Gender role socialisation childrearing in families is made more effective by the support offered by state institutions. Fletcher (1988) (referring to Parson’s warm bath theory) The emotional support and security and the opportunity to engage in play with children acts as a safety valve as it prevents stress from overwhelming the family member and strengthens social stability. Steel and Kidd (2001)
  6. 6. Functions of the family -(Topic 2- continued) Primary socialisation of children in the nuclear family reproduces and maintains class inequality. Parents are encouraged to teach their children that the main route to happiness and status is consumerism- The organisation of Capitalism is unchallenged by a generation fixated on trendy gadgets and designer labels . Marxist criticize functionalist view of primary socialisation of children . The functions of the nuclear family benefit those who run the Capitalist system rather than the whole of society, as functionalist suggest Marxist view of family functions Functional relationships can easily slip into dysfunctional relationships. Families are contexts of love and nurture but also of violence and murder- functionalist fail to acknowledge this. Cheal (2002) Criticize functionalists Homes and specifically children's bedrooms are furnished with media and technological entertainment such as TV,s DVD players and computer games Evans and Chandler (2006) ‘ from ready made meals, through washing machines and cars, to telecommunication services, …………………………family income is expended largely on things for the family” (page 82- full quote ) Sclater (2000) (family as consumers)
  7. 7. Functions of the family -(Topic 2- continued) The nuclear family functions to benefit men due to gender role socialisation. The nuclear family transmits patriarchal ideology to children which encourages the sexual division of labour . Radical Feminist View The nuclear family functions to benefit capitalism, for example the wealthy. Men too benefit from family life at the expense of women. The focus on women as mothers puts them under cultural pressure to have children and take some time out of the labour market to bring them up. The children are the workforce of the future at no expense to the capitalist class. Men also benefit because women cannot compete on a the same level for job or promotion opportunities Marxist feminist view
  8. 8. The family, morality and state policy (Topic 3) The Labour government have taken the idea of ‘social investment’ in children seriously and have recognised that family forms are changing. Lone mothers are no longer seen as a moral problem and threat- Labour introduced the New Deal policy in 1998 to help lone mothers get back into paid work. Lewis (2007) Sex education harms the young and undermines the family The morning after pill encourages girls to be easy and carefree Valerie Riches (founder of family and youth concern) The government is anti marriage Patricia Morgan (2000) In the 1960s and 1970s the state attacked traditional family values by introducing social policies such as the legalisation of abortion in the 1960s and making the contraceptive pill available on the NHS. This was the beginning of traditional family decline. The 1969 Divorce Reform Act undermined commitment to marriage. New Right (new functionalists or neo functionalists) A time when husbands and wives were strongly committed to each other for life, and children were brought up to respect their parents and social institutions such as the law. ‘ Golden age’ of the family
  9. 9. The family, morality and state policy (Topic 3 -continued) Familial ideology is merely a patriarchal ideology- a set of ideas deliberately encouraged by men. Feminist views Makes payment to the mother so therefore has reinforced the idea that women should take prime responsibility for children. Child benefit policy Tax and welfare policies have favoured heterosexual married couples and discouraged cohabitation and one parent families. Allan (1985) (criticize New Right) There is an underclass who are welfare dependent these include criminals, unmarried mothers, and idle young men. New Right approach to family and sate policies A set of ideas about what constitutes an ‘ideal’ family. e.g the traditional nuclear family with a clear sexual division of labour. Familial Ideology (New Right View)
  10. 10. The family, morality and state policy (Topic 3 -continued) Used data from the diaries of 3000 parents and found that parenting had significantly improved than in the past because parents spent more time playing with and reading to their children.This included non working and working parents Gershuny (2000) There is no evidence that mothers are becoming more work centred at the expense of family life- full study page 89 Reynolds et al (2003) Familial ideology is antisocial because it dismisses alternative family types as irrelevant and inferior e.g one parent families are seen as the cause of social problems such as rising crime rates and disrespect for authority. Barrett and Mcintosh (1982) (criticize New Right) The aspect of familial ideology benefits men because it results in women withdrawing from the labour market- this ideology ties women to men, marriage, the home and children. Annie Oakley (feminist- criticize New Right)
  11. 11. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4) Number of people leaving the UK emigration Number of people entering the UK immigration The number of people entering and leaving the UK migration The number of deaths per 1000 of the population over the course of a year The death rate The number of live births per 1000 women aged between 15 to 44 over one year The Fertility rate The number of live births per 1000 of the population over a year The Birth Rate
  12. 12. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4 -continued) The number of children dying in their first year of life per 1000 births Infant mortality rate The number of children born on average to a woman during her childbearing life . Total fertility rate (TFR) The difference between immigration and emigration Net migration
  13. 13. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4 -continued) Statistics at a glance According to the Family Policy Studies Centre, one in five women will choose to remain childless Childlessness In 2005 146,944 children were born to non British mothers and accounted for 21.9% of all UK births in 2005- therefore the increase in the fertility rate is due to a rise in immigration to the UK. Rise in fertility rate According to the ONS the fertility rate rose to 1.8 babies per woman in 2005 and again to 1.87 in 2006- this was the 5th annual rise in a row. Fertility rate - 21st century baby boom In 1900 there were 115 births per 1000 women aged 15-44 compared with 57 in 1999 and 54.5 in 2001 Fertility Rate The ONS announced that the 2006 birth rate was the highest for 26 years Birth Rate- ONS (office National Statistics) 716000 children were born in 2004 which is 34% fewer births than in 1901 and 21% fewer than 1971 Birth Rate Net migration accounted for 2/3 of the increase in UK population Between 2001- 2004
  14. 14. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4 -continued) Statistics at a glance Between 1971 and 2004 the death rate for all males declined by 21% and the death rate for females fell by 9%. The death rate In 1918 the highest number of deaths were recorded which was 690 000 -due to losses in the first world war and a flu epidemic The death rate In 2000 one in five women aged 40 had not had a child compared to one in ten in 1980 childlessness Women who choose to remain childless will double within the next 20 years McAllister(1998)
  15. 15. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4 -continued) Kinship Diversity Beanpole families - strong links between generations ( vertical intergenerational ties) e.g a middle aged woman may care for an elderly relative and a grandchild. Brannen (2003) Agreed with Phillipson and Downs O’Brien and Jones (1996) Grandchildren and children visited their elderly relatives on a regular basis Phillipson and Downs (1999) Intergenerational ties were stronger than ever with grandparents and grandchildren valuing each other and seeing each other regularly. Ross et al (2006) Adults in an East London community chose to live near relatives and visited them regularly Jane Foster (1990)
  16. 16. Demographic Trends and Family Life- (Topic 4 -continued) Choice and diversity have led to the renegotiation of family relationships as people attempt to find a middle ground between individualisation and commitment. Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (1995) (postmodernists) Children brought up by homosexuals are more likely to be tolerant and see equality and sharing as an important feature in a relationship Dunne (1987) Adult daughters of lesbian mothers were likely to be of the same heterosexual inclination as the daughters of a heterosexual couple . Gottman (1990) There are differences between working and middle class families in the roles of husband and wives and how children are socialised. Rapoport et al (1982) Only 39% of British born African Caribbeans adults under the age of 60 are in a formal marriage compared to 60% white adults Berthoud (2003) (cultural diversity) Mixed race partnerships result in interethnic families and mixed race children - page 96 Ali (2002) (cultural diversity)
  17. 17. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5 Marriage Marriage is good for the health of couples and married couples live longer than divorced or single people. ONS (office for National Statistics) Marriage involves unique ‘attachment and obligations’ that regulate people’s behaviour Patricia Morgan (2000) 3/4 of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are married by the age of 25 compared with just over half of White women Berthoud (2000) (ethnic variations in marriage) The number of people marrying per 1000 of the population aged 16 and over Marriage rates The statistics indicate greater personal choice in peoples’ private lives and is evidence of a rejection of patriarchal family arrangements. Postmodernists and Feminists (criticize New Right) Statistics indicating rising divorce rates and declining marriage rates indicate a crisis in the family which will lead to antisocial behaviour and moral breakdown. New Right
  18. 18. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5 Marriage -continued Marriage creates unrealistic expectations about monogamy in a world characterised by sexual freedom. At different points in a person’s life they need different things that can only be gained from a new partner. Smith (2001) (feminist) Young females no longer prioritize marriage and children which has led to a ‘genderquake’ Wilkinson (1994) Most people still see marriage as a desirable life goal. British Social Attitudes Survey It is bad relationships rather than divorce that make people unhappy and ill Murphy (2007)
  19. 19. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued Cohabitation It is difficult to generalise about cohabiting couples. They may include couples who are about to marry, those who are opposed to marriage and those who are testing the strength of their relationship. be about Kiernan (2007) Cohabitation is a test of their partner’s commitment Smart and Stevens (2000) Cohabiting couples are less happy and less fulfilled than married couples and more likely to be abused, stressed and depressed Morgan( 2000) Cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK ONS (Office National Statistics) Express concern over the rise in the number of cohabiting couples n the last decade- cohabitation is less stable than marriage New Right
  20. 20. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued Marital Breakdown Women expect more from marriage than men- women no longer have to be unhappy in a marriage and financially dependent on their husbands. Thorne and Collard (1979) Children from separated families who still had a regular relationship with their father were more successful in gaining educational qualifications and less likely to get into trouble with the police. Flouri and Buchanan (2002) ( criticize New Right) Children from separated families are more likely than children from two parent families to suffer behavioural problems, underachieve at school, become sexually active, pregnant at an early age,smoke, drink and take drugs. Rodgers and Pryor (1998) (New Right) There is a direct relationship between divorce, one parent families and antisocial behaviour among young people. Children who experience divorce of their parents suffer a range of problems New Right Legal ending of a marriage Divorce
  21. 21. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued Marital Breakdown Changes in divorce law have made it easier and cheaper to end marriages Divorce law Improved educational opportunities mean that women no longer have to stay in an unhappy marriage. Divorce and women High divorce rates are evidence that marriage is increasingly valued and that people are demanding higher standards from their partners. Functionalist view Rising divorce rates are the product of a rapidly changing world in which the traditions of love, romance and relationships no longer apply Beck and Beck - Gernsheim (1995) Divorce may be a reaction to the frustration working wives feel as they are also responsible for the bulk of housework and childcare (triple shift)or may be the outcome of tensions produced by women taking over the traditional male role of breadwinner. Hart (1976)
  22. 22. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued One Parent Families Familial ideology causes problems for one parent families by negatively labelling them and one parent families are scapegoated for crime and educational underachievement . Feminist view Lone parenthood is seen by New Right as a second rate and imperfect family but many lone parents have a poor quality of life experiencing debt,poverty and material hardship. Most lone parents put family life as one of the most important priorities and have a great deal of love and pride. Ford and Millar (1998) Teenage single mothers reported that motherhood was a combination of hard work and joy, most single teenage mothers were against abortion and all intended to return to education. (study page 104) Only 3% single mothers are teenagers Burghes and Brown (1995) There are approximately 1.75 million lone parent families in Britain which is 23% of all families. One parent families
  23. 23. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued Reconstituted Families If the new couple have a child of their own it may cause jealously and resentment from the previous children of each parent. Complications of reconstituted families Reconstituted families face challenges as children may find themselves pulled in two directions if the relationship between their natural parents is strained. Conflict may arise if there is a problem with the child and step parent accepting each other. De’Ath and Slater (1992) A family made up of divorced or widowed people who have had children from their previous marriage and remarried bringing two families together as one. Reconstituted Family
  24. 24. Marriage, divorce and family diversity Topic 5- continued Singlehood Singlehood may be a temporary stage before marrying and having a family Singlehood as temporary In the 1970s girls were concerned with love, marriage, husbands and children. In the 1990s girls were interested in jobs and careers and there was no pressure to settle down as there was in the past. Sharpe (1994) In 1971 6% of households were single people under state pension age. In 2005 it had risen to 15% Singlehood statistics More than 6.5 million people live on their own. -29% of all households Single person households
  25. 25. Power and control in the family- topic 6 Household technologies such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners have increased the burden for women because they have raised household standards of cleanliness and increased time spent on housework, although these gadgets are advertised to make life easier. Sclater (2000) Unemployed men found it degrading to do housework and to be ‘kept’ by their employed wives. McKee and Bell (1986) Women do more work in the home even when both spouses work full tme. If a man was unemployed and the women works full time- she still does more work in the home. British Household Panel Survey (2001) Women in paid work spent 21 hours a week on average on housework compared with 12 hours by men.- there was little evidence to suggest the sexual division of labour was changing Lader et al (2006) (time use survey) Out of 17 married couples, found that women still had major responsibility for housework and childcare. (Note: 17 couples is a small sample so does not represent the whole of society) Dryden (1999) (study of childcare and housework) Segregated division of labour ( men as breadwinners and women as housewives ) was breaking down. Families were becoming more symmetrical. (equal roles) Young and Willmott (1973)
  26. 26. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) Inequality in the distribution of childcare and housework is a major cause of divorce today. Bittman and Pixley (1997) Working parents are now experiencing a ‘time famine’ with regard to childcare so are delegating childcare to external carers. Kilkey (2005) Wives interpret leisure time as time spent free from paid work and family commitments Husbands saw all time outside paid work as leisure time. Green (1996) Women carry out housework, paid work and emotional work. Triple Shift Women carry out housework and paid work Dual Burden or Double Shift
  27. 27. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) The power to influence and make family decisions changed when males became unemployed. Working wives often took over responsibility for bills and initiated cutbacks in spending. Gillian Leighton (1992) Middle aged wives trusted their husbands to make decisions regarding where to live, size of the mortgage and buying cars. Hardill et al concluded that the sample of men in their study demanded that their interests were superior to their wives and children's because he is the main breadwinner . Hardill et al (1997) Having children changes the life of the mother rather than the father. Most female careers are interrupted by childbirth and only a small minority of mothers return to their pre- baby jobs, most experience downward mobility into low paid and part time work. Bernardes (1997) Men were more satisfied with their marriage than women. Men had no linking that their wives were unhappy. Bernard (1982) Women felt their male partners were lacking in terms of ‘emotional participation’ -This increases the burden on women to soothe the emotions of their partners and children. Duncombe and Marsden (1995)
  28. 28. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) Fatherhood Fathers emphasized the need to spend quality time with their children. Fathers viewed time spent with their children as an expression of fatherhood rather than a form of domestic work. Gray (2006) Studied 95 families and found that fathers, mothers and teenage children agreed that the male should be the breadwinner despite the changes in family life and mothers were experts in parenting. Warin et al (1999) Fathers can no longer rely on jobs to provide a sense of identity and fulfillment in this modern world and they increasingly look to their children to give them a sense of identity and purpose. Beck(1992) (postmodernist) Suggested that fathers were taking an increasingly active role in the emotional development of their children. Burghes (1997) The Children Act clearly states that the mother should have parental responsibility for the child if the parents are not married. Bernardes (1997) Fatherless children are less likely to be successfully socialised into the culture of discipline and compromise found in nuclear families. They are less likely to be successful parents. Dennis and Erdos (2000) (New Right)
  29. 29. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) Although kicking and punching is recognised as domestic violence, psychological manipulation and sexual intimidation may not be recognised as domestic violence. Sclater (2000) The power of men to control women by physical force. NB:Women may also be violent against men but there are less reported cases of this.-statistics may be flawed as men don’t like to admit it. Domestic Violence Women’s participation in the labour market is limited by their domestic responsibilities. Few women have continuous full time careers whilst men do. Some employers may believe women are unreliable because of their family commitments.. Feminist view The influence of patriarchal ideology on the perceptions of both husbands and wives have led women to accept primary responsibility for housework and childcare without question. Feminist view 30% fathers and 6% mothers worked more than 48 hours per week on a regular basis. Many fathers would like to spend more time with their children but were prevented from doing so by long working hours. Dex (2003) (survey -pressures of work in 21st century)
  30. 30. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) The sexual division of labour in the home is biologically inevitable. Women are seen as naturally suited to the ‘expressive’ role. Functionalist View Domestic violence is a problem of patriarchy - Men and boys are brought up to believe they should have economic and social power Feminist View Women live in fear of men’s potential domestic violence whilst husbands rarely feel frightened or intimidated by their wives. Nazroo (1999) Used data from the British Crime Survey and found that women were more likely to suffer domestic violence than men. 70% reported domestic violence is men against women. Mirlees- Black (1999) One incident of domestic violence is reported by women to the police every minute in the UK. Stanko (2000)
  31. 31. Power and control in the family- (topic 6 continued) Feminists fail to explain why women's roles vary across different cultures. The mother/ housewife role does not exist in all societies For some women housework and childcare have a real and positive meaning and women do it out of love for their family. Criticize feminists Feminists underestimate women’s ability to make rational choices. It is not patriarchy that is responsible for the position of women in families. Women choose to give more commitment to family and children and so have less commitment to work than men have. Catherine Hakim (1996) (Criticise Feminists) Women are oppressed by men, women are the exploited class. The housewife role is created by patriarchy and benefits men. Delphy (1984) Radical Feminist The housewife role serve the needs of capitalism as it maintains and reproduces the workforce at no cost to the capitalist class. Marxist feminist Women have made progress in terms of equality within the family, particularly in education and the economy the future is likely to bring further domestic and economic equality. Liberal Feminist
  32. 32. The Nature of Childhood -(Topic 7) Introduced the ‘Every child matters’ policy- which is:(S.H.A.P.E) S-safe- every child should be safe from harm and abuse H- Healthy -every child should be healthy- access to extra curriculum activities and healthy diet (improved school dinners) A- achievement- every child should achieve and enjoy achieving P-Positive contribution- every child should make a positive contribution to their community or wider society E- economic well being- every child should be protected from poverty and be educated to achieve economic being in the future. 2004 Children Act Children are seen as a priority Child centered <ul><li>The 19th century saw the social construction of childhood with three major characteristics. </li></ul><ul><li>It was the opposite of adulthood </li></ul><ul><li>The adult and child world were to be kept separate </li></ul><ul><li>Children had the right to ‘happiness’ </li></ul>Cunningham (2006) Childhood is a recent social invention. In pre- industrial society childhood did not exist. Philippe Aries (1962)
  33. 33. The Nature of Childhood -(Topic 7 -continued) The culture of parenting in the UK has broken down and the innocence of childhood has been undermined by two trends. 1. Children have too many rights and powers which has undermined parental authority. 2. The media and peer group have become more influential to children than parents are. Melanie Phillips (1997) (book - ’all must have prizes’ ) <ul><li>Childhood is disappearing </li></ul><ul><li>Growth of television- gives unlimited access to the adult world </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Social Blurring’ has occurred -Little distinction between childhood and adulthood (study on page 116) </li></ul>Neil Postman (1982) Children are a vulnerable group and should be protected.from adult society Functionalists and New Right VIew Protects the welfare of children in the event of parental separation. The Child Support Act(1991)
  34. 34. The Nature of Childhood -(Topic 7 -continued) In less developed nations, the experience of childhood is different from that of the industrialised world. Some children are at risk of early death due to poverty and lack of basic health care. Cultural and social differences of childhood. (use to criticize contrasting views) Children can be constructive and reflective contributors to family life. Children had a pragmatic view of family life. Children did not want to make decisions for themselves but wanted a say in what happened to them. Morrow (1998) Peer pressure was an important aspect of children's rationale for consumption. Parents and children from poorer families felt this pressure the most. Evans and Chandler (2006) Parental spending on children is “consumption as compensation”- parents who are cash rich but time poor alleviate their guilt by buying their children whatever consumer goods they desire. Pugh (2002) Electronic technologies are harming children because they are used as an alternative to traditional parenting. Parents use the technologies to keep children quiet and spend less quality time with their children and no longer read them stories. The consequences are that children are more self obsessed, less able to learn, to enjoy life and to thrive socially. Sue Palmer (2007) ( Wrote book- ‘ Toxic Childhood’)
  35. 35. The Nature of Childhood -(Topic 7 -continued) Gender socialisation may influence experiences of childhood- girls are subjected to stricter social control than boys by their parents when they reach adolescence. Gender and childhood Children who experienced poverty had significantly fallen behind their peers from middle class backgrounds in terms of academic achievement. Jefferis et al (2002) Upper class children spend most of their formative years at boarding schools, middle class children may be taught to aim for university and professional careers from a young age and working class children may have a difficult experience due to living in poverty. Social class differences of childhood (use to criticize contrasting views) In Britain childhood experiences differ between social, religious and cultural groups. Muslim, Hindu and Sikh children have a greater sense of obligation to their parents than white children. Cultural and social differences of childhood (use to criticize contrasting views) In Mexico 1.9 million children live rough on the streets- 240 000 have been abandoned by their parents. In Brazil 1000 homeless children are shot dead every day by people who regard them as vermin. Cultural and social differences of childhood (use to criticize contrasting views)