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Examine The Ways In Which Government Policies And Laws Affect The Nature And Diversity Of The Family

997 words - 4 pages

Examine the ways in which government policies and laws affect the nature and extent of family diversity. (24 marks) (Ao1-14 Ao2-10)

Some sociologists have suggested that social policy has caused families to become more diverse while others disagree. Social policies are the laws and practices put in place by the government that effect social issues, in this case the family. For example, in the 1930’s the Nazi government in Germany wanted to encourage Aryan families and put in place policies that involved sterilising certain groups to prevent them from having children. More recently in China they have a one child policy, if individuals have more than one child the government have put in ...view middle of the document...

All these changes could be linked to the growth of same sex families.

Some sociologists are really happy with these changes. For example, feminists believe that society is patriarchal, that men dominate and exploit women. They suggest that many laws in society are unequal and oppressive to women and campaign for all women to have equal rights. Before the introduction of civil partnerships this meant that homosexual women were denied the same rights as heterosexual women and this could be evidence of patriarchy. However, things like civil partnerships and changes in adoption laws give women an equal basis to form a committed relationship and a family free from the patriarchal control of men. This would particularly appeal to radical feminists some of which are lesbian separatists. However, some sociologists are deeply unhappy with these changes; the New Right believe that the nuclear family is needed for the correct socialisation of children. They believe male and female role models are required for children to become functional adults. They would reject other family types such as same sex families as they damage children’s upbringing. However, the New right are often criticised for sexist and outdated views as they suggest that women would best suited to staying at home and raising children.

Some sociologists have suggested that other family types have been encouraged by social policy. For example, in the UK around 33% of Asian families live in extended families, while 48% of Afro Caribbean families live in single parent families. These trends could be linked to immigration laws that encouraged these groups to come to the UK in the 1960’s. One other way in which families have become more diverse is that there has been a great increase in single parent families. There are a range of social policies that could be linked to this trend. For example, in the UK over time divorce laws have changed and divorce has become easier and cheaper over time. What this means is that that more...

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