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Flashcards in Families Deck (41)
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Identify two ways in which people use the term family

•To refer to the family which would live in the same household, which could be one married couple and their children.
•It can also be used to refer to a person's family of birth such as- An individual, plus their parents and siblings
•It can be used even more widely, refering to Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and more.
•It can also be used to refer to a cohabiting couple living alone


What do sociologists mean by the term Household?

A household consists of either one person who lives alone or a group of people who live at the same address and who share at least one meal a day or facilities such as a living room.
Eg- A person living alone in a flat, or friends that live together in a shared house.


What do sociologists mean by the term Nuclear Family?

A nuclear family consists of just a father, mother and their dependent child/children. It contains just two generations and the family members live together in the same household. The parents may be married or may be cohabiting instead or before getting married.


What do sociologists mean by the terms Gay and Lesbian families?

A gay or lesbian family, in which a same sex couple live together with their child or children, can be seen as one alternative to the traditional, hetrosexual nuclear family. The rise of gay and lesbian families marks a shift towards greater freedom for individuals to make choices about their domestic situations and personal relationships.


What do sociologists mean by the term Reconstituted Family?

Stepfamilies, or 'Reconstituted families' are families in which one or both partners have a child or children from a previous relationship living with them. Most stepfamilies comprise a stepfather and a biological mother and her child or children who live together. This family form might come about as a result of, for example a previously divorced woman with children marrying a single childless man. In this case, while the man is the children's social father, in that he brings them up, he is not their biological father. However, they may go on to have a child or children later.


What do sociologists mean by the term Lone Parent Family?

A lone-parent family consists of one parent and a dependent child or children who live together. The majority of lone-parent families are headed by women who may, for example be divorced, separated or widowed.


What do sociologists mean by the term Extended Family?

An extended family includes relatives beyond the nuclear family. The classic extended family contains three generations who live together under the same roof or who live nearby. In this case, the family is extended vertically. Families may also be extended vertically, with the addition of someone such as a husband's brother, where the amount of generations stays the same, but more people live inside.


Identify one turning point in an individual's life and explain why this might lead to change in their family or household situation.

Significant events such as the birth of a child, marriage, separation, divorce and remarriage may mark important turning points in a person's life. Such turning points may lead to changes in an individual's family and household settings.


Explain what sociologists mean by the term 'Primary Socialisation'

Primary Socialisation is socialisation (Teaching the norms and values of society) done by the family starting from a very early age.


Explain two ways other than socialisation in which families may contribute to the wellbeing of others

•Emotional Support and nurture, where the family provides emotional and psycological support
•Economic provision where family members can support their children if needed econoically.


Identify one similarity between the Functionalist and New Right approaches to the study of families

•Both believe the nuclear family to be the best environment to bring up a child. It suggests that children are more likely to develop into stable adults if they are brought up by both parents.


Identify and explain one criticism of the nuclear family put forward by the Marxist approach

Marxists argue that the setup of the nuclear family allows inequalities to continue from one generation to the next. For example, the rich can pass on their huge amounts of wealth and property. In this way, social inequalities are passed down generations. Also, educational inequalities are passed down, as people from wealthy backgrounds can afford to pay high fees to send their children to private schools. Also, the Marxist approaches argue that through their socialisation young working-class people may learn to accept their position in society.


Identify one similarity and one difference between the Marxist and feminist approaches to the study of families.

Feminists are also critical of the family as an institution and its role in society. In particular, they see families as having a negative impact on the lives of women. While Feminist Sociologists accept that there are biological differences between males and females, they argue that many of these believed interests are socially constructed, or created by society. Families actively contribute to the creation of these differences through primary socialisation processes.


What do sociologists mean by the term "the domestic division of labour"?

Who does what in the home; Who does which roles, including work, caring for children etc.


What do sociologists mean by the term "joint domestic roles"?

Where family members share responsibility and roles in the home


What do sociologists mean by the term "segregated domestic roles"?

When the roles within the house are seperated and unequal.


What do sociologists mean by the term "Symmetrical Family"?

A family in which the roles of husband and wife were less segregated.
Although different roles may be still present, husbands if working would contribute to the home in equal ways to the wife.
Another aspect is that decision-making, especially when regarding money was more of a shared activity, meaning women had a much larger role in decision-making.


Identify and explain two possible reasons for the growth of the symmetrical family.

•The rise in feminism since the 1960s
•More effective forms of contraception have meant that women can have fewrer childre, and families can be planned. This means that women can combine motherhood with paid employment and a career.
•As a result of their participation in paid employment, many women are financially independent and have more freedom, equality and status, both inside and outside the home, than in the past
•There has been an increased interest in home life generally, for example in DIY and home improvements. Technological developments have created opportunities for home-based leisure pursuits linked, for example to computer games, DVDs and satelite television. As a result, men are now more likely to spend time at home and to become more involved with their family.


Identify one way in which the role of fathers in families has changed since the 1970s.

The Symmetrical Family's emergence has led to changes, such as an increase in men doing household tasks and bringing up their children.
More women are in paid employment today, and many more dual-earner households compared to old fashioned male-breadwinner hosueholds.


To what extent would sociologists agree that living in a family tends to benefit women less than men?

On the subject of money in marriage, it can be argued that household decision making has become a much more shared activity, involving both men and women. However, many feminists argue that in many cases, men are solely responsible for decision making, and the wife has little access to money. In this way, living in a family still benefits women less than men.

Domestic violence figures are also a form of evidence which supports the statement. The true extent of domestic violence is unknown, although it is said that the crime "consists mainly of violence by men against women", implying that women are benefitted less due to a larger risk of being a victim of domestic violence.


Identify and explain two changes that have occurred in the relationship between parents and children over the last hundred years

•In the 18th century, most children worked from the age of ten. This meant that children were seen as adults from very early in life. A later school leaving age led to childhood being regarded as its own stage of life.

Change in Authority
•Families in the past had more emphasis on discipline, obedience and parental authority over children. This is now not the case, with more emphasis on individual freedom and being generally more child-focused.

Decision Making
•In the past, all decisions in the family would be decided by the male breadwinner, head of the house. Now, however there has been an increase in democratic parenting, meaning children and all of the family are involved.

Family Size
•Average family size smaller, so individual children may get more attention


Outline two reasons for the increase in one-person households

•Changing age structure of the population, meaning that there are more elderly, one-person households.
•Increased popularity of solo living among younger people


Identify one reason why the majority of stepfamilies have a biological mother and a stepfather

When parents separate, children often stay with their mother, meaning that most stepfamilies contain a biological mother and a stepfather.


Outline one reason for the increase in dual-worker families.

The increasing proportion of married or cohabiting women


Identify and explain two changes in patterns of fertility in the UK over the last 30 years

•Women in the UK are having fewer children than 30 years ago and so there is a trend towards a smaller family size.
•The trend since the 1970s for people to get married at a later age, which means that some women will delay in having children.


What do sociologists mean by "Cultural Diversity"?

Being home to a mix of cultural, ethnic and religious groups.


What is meant by the term "Fertility Rate"?

The average number of children that women of childbearing age (Around 15-44) have in society.


What is meant by the term life expectancy?

The average number of years a newly born baby may be expected to live


What is meant by the term infant mortality?

The number of children dying in their first year of life


What is meant by the term infant mortality rate?

The number of infant deaths per 1000 live births per year.