Negative Views Of The Family In the 1960's Edmund Leach likened the family to an 'over loaded electrical circuit waiting to blow a fuse' his main argument was that we had become too privatised and isolated in our nuclear family settings and this was causing too much pressure on relationships. He advocates breaking out from these insular units and getting in touch with our fellow human beings.
Laing 1970– Parents and children are linked by a complex web of emotions and tensions. These can cause a ‘breakdown’ - a sort of identity crisis for certain individuals. As a result Laing advocated treating the ‘whole’ family. Hence family therapy sessions
Cooper 1972 Working in the same field as Laing, Cooper attacks family life for curbing the freedom of children and suppressing their individuality. As a result subservience and obedience are promoted within society. Cooper is in tune with Marxists when he says that the family is'an ideological conditioning device in an exploitive society'
Perspectives On The Family Foucault 1975 – Critical theory Foucault maintained that agencies such as the law, social workers, welfare services, the tax system etc are controlling family life. The stereotypical nuclear family model of parents + kids is held up as the norm
Perspectives On The Family Foucault 1975 - Themes of his work:- 1. Conventional motherhood is reinforced Mothers who want to work are restricted by difficulties arranging childcare. Working for women is portrayed as not ‘normal’ Women experience guilt and stress as a result 2. Emphasis on discipline and conformity in modern society Confession of inadequacies to ‘experts’ eg doctors, counsellors, psychologists etc
Perspectives On The Family Morgan 1980 agrees with Foucault from a Marxist perspective in that the family is an institution under siege in the modern world. The supposedly private world of family life is kept in check via agencies of the state
Marriage & Marital breakdown • Fewer people are getting married than at any other time in the last 40 years. • However: • People are delaying marriage rather than rejecting it • Most people still see marriage as desirable
Marriage & Marital breakdown Types Of Marital Breakdown Divorce – legal ending of a marriage freeing partners to marry again Separation – live apart Desertion – where one partner doesn’t know where the other has gone Empty –shell -where marriage exists in name only –‘staying together for sake of children etc
Marriage & Marital breakdown • Explanations for increasing divorce rate • Divorce laws • 1969 Divorce Reform Act (became law in 1971) introduced ‘irretrievable breakdown’ as a no fault reason for divorce. • After 2 years separation if both agreed • 5 years if only one agreed • Essentially made divorce easier to obtain!
Marriage & Marital breakdown • Explanations for increasing divorce rate • Divorce laws cont • 1984 Act – allowed couples to get divorced after 1 yr of marriage. • 1996 Act (came in in 1999) increased this to 18 months
Marriage & Marital breakdown 2. Less stigma As divorce became more common it became more acceptable and part of every day life.
Marriage & Marital breakdown • 3. Changing role of women • About 75% of petitions for divorce are made by women. • Women now are :- • Educated to higher levels. • Work more and have independent finance. • Less likely to stay in an ‘empty shell’ marriage.
Marriage & Marital breakdown 4. People Live Longer People spend more time together and therefore have more chance of falling out Plus people in unhappy relationships now feel there is time to leave and start again with someone else
Marriage & Marital breakdown 5. Secularisation The decline in the religious significance of marriage Less church weddings Promises made ‘before God’ not seen as binding
Marriage & Marital breakdown 6. Privatisation Of Family Life Rather than a ‘haven in a heartless world’ some see the family as the source of discontents Search for intimacy creates tensions within relationships People expect too much from each other. Less pressures from wider kin to stay together
Marriage & Marital breakdown 7. The value of marriage Functionalists like Fletcher & Parsons argue that people place a higher value on marriage now than in the past People expect more from a partner and will no longer put up with second-rate relationships Gibson 1994 says that the modern emphasis on individual achievement and consumerism has extended to relationships
Factors likely to cause divorce Age Lower the age at marriage = HCD (higher chance divorce) Teens more likely to grow apart Economic pressures etc
Factors likely to cause divorce • Class • MC have lower rates than WC • Highest rates among unemployed
Factors likely to cause divorce • Social & Status Differences • The greater the differences between partners - class, age, ethnicity,, religion • = HCD
Factors likely to cause divorce Ethnicity Divorce rates low amongst Asian groups
Factors likely to cause divorce • Family History • If your parents divorced - you have a higher chance of divorce • Less opposition from parents when seeking a divorce
Factors likely to cause divorce • Duration • HCD in first 5 years of marriage • Older people now divorce more • 30+ yrs marrieds are 2x more likely to divorce now than 10 yrs ago
Consequences Of Divorce Recent studies suggest that kids from divorced backgrounds are more likely to Get divorced themselves Underachieve at school Be unemployed Suffer poor health Become criminals
Exeter Study 1994 - Cockett & Tripp children in ‘reordered families’ (step) suffered problems of adjustment until later in life. Children wanted to stay with both natural parents even with the tensions involved
Norwegian Study 1994 - Moxnes Sees positive side of divorce Creation of a new ‘bi-nuclear’ family with good relations between old and new partners and children Could be seen as an over optimistic view!
Define The Following Terms Monogamy Serial Monogamy Polygamy Polyandry Polygyny
Cohabitation Coleman & Salt 1992 Suggest that the popularity of marriage has declined because traditional assumptions have changed. New ideas, the changing role of women and more reliable methods of birth control are all contributory factors
Cohabitation • Reasons For The Increase In Cohabitation • Marriage is less fashionable. • Marriage is expensive. • Decline in religious beliefs. • Economic and employment insecurity. • High divorce rates make people wary of commitment
Family Diversity The image of the ‘cereal packet family’ (Leach) is promoted as the basic family model i.e. married adults plus kids. However others argue that a plurality of forms now exist
Civil Partnerships What is a Civil Partnership?The Civil Partnership Bill was passed on the 17th November 2004, becoming the Civil Partnership Act 2004. It is official acknowledgement that same-sex relationships, with the requirements of commitment and recognition, exist. Registered couples will have new legal status as "registered Civil Partners" and will be protected by a package of rights similar to those of married couples.The Act gives registered gay couples the right to apply for joint state pensions, shared parental responsibility and recognition under inheritance laws.This brings the UK into line with other European countries that recognise same sex couples, including Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.
Family Diversity Ron & Rhona Rapoport 1982 Give 5 types of diversity 1.Organisational Diversity Variations in family structure e.g. single parents Reconstituted families etc
Family Diversity 2. Cultural Diversity There are differences based on ethnic origins and religious beliefs
Family Diversity 3. Class Diversity There are many differences between MC and WC families. Higher divorce rates among WC
Family Diversity 4. Life-cycle Diversity Newly marrieds without children have a different life style to those with children
Family Diversity 5. Cohort Diversity This refers to the periods at which groups of families have lived through specific things together e.g. war
Family Diversity Eversley & Bonnerjea 1982– Regional Diversity They argue that different areas of Britain have different patterns of family organisation. In rural areas extended kinship is important, inner cities have higher percentages of single parents and the southern ‘sun belt’ has more 2 parent upwardly mobile families.
Family Diversity Weekes, Donovan & Heaphey 1999 –Homosexual Families Say that Gay and Lesbian households have become more common since the 1980’s. They describe such units as ‘chosen’ families – they choose whom to include as ‘family’ members.
Family Diversity New Reproductive Technologies Surrogacy provides the potential for a whole new way of forming families.
Family Diversity Modhood et al 1997 - Ethnicity Whites and Caribbean’s have highest rates of divorce in UK Asians and Africans have highest marriage rates and highest rates of children living with both natural parents – 90% (75% for whites, 50% Caribbean’s) Caribbean’s have highest single parent rate in UK
Family Diversity Single Person Households 25% of households are occupied by one person and this proportion is rising. A significant number are elderly women and divorced and separated. However more people, particularly young professionals, are choosing to live alone.
LATs Ducan And Phillips 2008 Simon Duncan and Miranda Phillips found that 1 in 10 adults are LATs – i.e. they are in a ‘significant relationship’ but do not actually live together
LATs • Why People Live Apart Together • Choice – Gives couples a feeling of space still • Circumstance – Sometimes separated/divorced couples with their own children do not want to upset their lifestyles • Houses – couples do not want to give up their own homes
Single Parents 25% of families in the UK are single parents 90% are female headed 60% are ex married (divorced, separated or widowed)
Single Parents Consequences Murray 1993 A New Right thinker Claims single parenting has helped to create an anti-social underclass
Single Parents McIntosh 1996 Disagrees and says that Lone mothers have been used as scapegoats for problems such as youth crime and unemployment
Single Parents McLanahan & Booth 1991 Say children from single parents are more likely to suffer poverty, become delinquent and abuse drugs. But more a result of low income than lack of 2 parents
Single Parents Cashmore 1985 Best for children to live with one caring adult than 2 fighting ones. Women become more independent in single parent units
Reasons For Increase In Single Parents 1. Divorce Since 1971 Divorce has been easier to obtain
Reasons For Increase In Single Parents 2 Social Acceptance Less stigma attached to being a single parent today Links to secularisation – less religious practice and thinking Media portrays single parents more positively today
Reasons For Increase In Single Parents 3. Welfare State Some like the New Right feel that it is too easy to rely on benefits etc Feminists and others point to the fact that women are no longer tied to a man financially and therefore can leave unhappy relationships.v