Posted in AS Sociology: Family

Embodiment and gender

Marcel Mauss (1872-1950)

Culture – generated meanings from living together.

Ideologies become embedded into us which appear natural.

The social is expressed through the collective which becomes inscribed in the body.

Things that appear natural are not. Even simple things such as swimming are done differently in every culture.

Pierre Bourdieu – ‘The Peasant and his Body’

‘Habitus’ – the socially acquired embodied systems of dispositions history is turned into nature.

Gender – what does the way we act say about the embodiment of gender?

Iris Marion Young – Throwing like a Girl’

Strongly disagrees with Erwin Strauss who argues that girls and boys throw differently due to biology.

‘Every human existence is defined through its situation’ (Simone de Beauvoir). Femininity is a set of structures particular to a culture.

‘We feel as though we must have our attention directed upon our bodies to make sure they are doing what we wish them to do, rather than paying attention to what to do through our bodies’.

Women fail to make full use of spatial and lateral positions – sitting, standing etc.

Women are aware of being objectified (male gaze).

Gender scripts are very defined and hard to break – women who do try and break out of them are often publicly chastised and seen as a deviant. Famous female sports players such as the Williams sisters have often been denounced for being too masculine and it being unfair for the other female players!

Wonder Woman is a very good contemporary example of a more powerful representation of females which has been welcomed by many female audiences. However, the film still clearly sexualises the women – so have things changed that much?

How do these ideas link to the family topic?

Embodiment of gender scripts clearly relates to the feminist argument that patriarchal biological determinist arguments are unfounded. New Right and functionalists argue that it is natural for women to fulfill the expressive role but Young and Mauss in particular help explain why this is not the case. Women are socialised to be caring, to be feminine and gentle. There is nothing natural about it. There is no reason why men cannot be socialised in this way too and increasingly with the rise of the new man, it appears that this is already happening to some extent. Feminism has had a massive impact upon how British people view the roles within the family and without doubt, many males are happy to pursue a much more expressive role than their forefathers.

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Posted in AS Sociology: Family, GCSE Sociology

GCSE + AS Family: Benefit changes: Who will be affected?

Image result for budget 2017

Hundreds of thousands of UK families will be affected by cuts of £12bn in the UK’s welfare budget announced by the chancellor.

  • The benefit cap will be reduced from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a year in London, and £20,000 in the rest of the country.
  • Any family which has a third or subsequent child born after April 2017 will not qualify for Child Tax Credit, which amounts to up to £2,780 a year per child.
  • Most working age benefits will be frozen for four years from April 2016 (The measure is expected to save £3.9bn a year).
  • From April 2017, those out of work between the ages of 18 and 21 will not be automatically entitled to claim housing benefit.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-33429390

Benefit changes ‘could push 200,000 children into poverty

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-39455078

 

Posted in AS Sociology: Family, GCSE Sociology

GCSE and AS Family: The kingdom of women: the society where a man is never the boss

“Imagine a society without fathers; without marriage (or divorce); one in which nuclear families don’t exist. Grandmother sits at the head of the table; her sons and daughters live with her, along with the children of those daughters, following the maternal bloodline. Men are little more than studs, sperm donors who inseminate women but have, more often than not, little involvement in their children’s upbringing…”

Read on: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/01/the-kingdom-of-women-the-tibetan-tribe-where-a-man-is-never-the-boss?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email

 

Posted in AS Sociology: Family

AS Family Policy essay structure

Here is a suggested essay structure for:

Evaluate the impact of state policies and laws on family life (20 marks)

IntroductionGive a brief overview of the main ‘themes’ in family policy over the last century. For example, the Beveridge Report set the foundation for a new age whereby the state was willing to take (some) responsibility for families in the UK; Labour introduced a range of liberal policies in the 1960s which arguably have had the most significant impact on family structure; influenced by the New Right, Thatcher attempted to re-adjust the balance of some of these policies by slowing down the extent of divorce reform and by prizing the nuclear family as the ideal family. New Labour introduced a ‘third way’ which was tried to implement stricter welfare policies whilst still retaining liberal attitudes towards family diversity. Cameron’s Conservative Party introduced a number of liberal policies (influenced by the EU perhaps) but still retained the familial ideology of the New Right. 

Part 1: The 60s and early 70s Discuss the impact of some of the acts of this period from a feminist and conversely, a New Right perspective – The Abortion Act 1967; The Equal Pay Act 1970; Divorce Reform Act 1969; The Sexual Offences Act 1967. Please refer back to your New Right and feminist notes to help you with this.

Part 2: The 80s (Thatcher) Describe Thatcher’s ideological stance (New Right) and analyse a couple of policies such as her attitude towards the mooted divorce reform act. How might feminists react to this period?

Part 3: New Labour (Blair) Describe the ‘third way’. Working Families Tax Credit 1997;  Sure Start (1998);

Part 4: Conservatives (Cameron): Troubled families programme (2011) and paternity leave

Conclusion: what is the future for the British family?

Posted in AS Sociology: Family

AS Sociology: Family Policies

Image result for uk family policy

Here is the PowerPoint with a good overview of policies:

Social Policy_and_ the Family

Some extra resources:

social_policy_overview

Smart and Neale Family Fragments 1999

Troubled Familie Programme: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/dec/20/troubled-families-government-misled-public-99-success-claim-say-mps?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Email

Contraceptive pill: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15984258

‘The Family Nurse Partnership’: Currently around 11,000 families are benefitting from personalised support from a nurse. This policy is to be rolled out to 16,000 more families. Research indicates that schemes such as these are successful in helping vulnerable mothers become more stable parents: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/family-nurse-partnership-programme-to-be-extended

Sure Start: Sure Start was introduced by New Labour in 1998 to try improve “childcare, early education, health and family support, with an emphasis on outreach and community development. n the 2004 Comprehensive Spending Review, Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that the Government would provide funding for 2,500 Children’s Centres by 2008”.

Children’s Centres are expected to provide:

  • In centres in the 30% most disadvantaged areas: integrated early learning and childcare (early years provision) for a minimum of 10 hours a day, five days a week, 48 weeks a year; and support for a childminder network
  • In centres in the 70% least disadvantaged areas, which do not elect to offer early years provision: drop-in activity sessions for children, such as stay and play sessions
  • Family Support, including support and advice on parenting, information about services available in the area and access to specialist, targeted services; and Parental Outreach
  • Child and Family Health Services, such as antenatal and postnatal support, information and guidance on breastfeeding, health and nutrition, smoking cessation support, and speech and language therapy and other specialist support
  • Links with Jobcentre Plus to encourage and support parents and carers who wish to consider training and employment
  • Quick and easy access to wider services

Many centres have been cut by the Conservative government though.

Also it has not been considered an outright success. In 2007 a report by the Universities of Oxford and Wales “examined 153 parents from socially deprived areas and showed that a course teaching improved parenting skills had great benefits in reducing problem behaviour in young children. Parents were taught to:

  • Increase positive child behaviour through praise and incentives
  • Improve parent-child interaction: relationship building
  • Set clear expectations: limit setting and non-aversive management strategies for non-compliance
  • Apply consistent gentle consequences for problem behaviour

However, a University of Durham study has suggested hat Sure Start was ineffective at improving results in early schooling.

In 2010, research conducted by NESS demonstrated significant effects of SSLPs on eight of 21 outcomes: two positive outcomes for children (lower BMIs and better physical health), four positive outcomes for mothers and families (more stimulating and less chaotic home environments, less harsh discipline, and greater life satisfaction), and two negative outcomes (more depressive symptoms reported by mothers, and parents less likely to visit schools for planned meetings)

IVF: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31594856