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Influence Families and Households Examine the ways in which social policies and laws may influence families and households (24 marks) Social policies are plans and/or actions set out by the government which will affect a family in one way or another. Depending on the social policy which is in place, this new action or law will either have a direct effect on the family, for example; in 1969 the ‘Divorce reform act’ was introduced making it legal for married couples to divorce. Before this divorce was non-heard of, and now this new law underestimated the whole idea of marriage and allowed couples to think that marriage was not for life. This divorce law had a direct effect on the family because the traditional nuclear family was no longer the norm within society; this new law allowed new and more family diversity to become known and universal. Other social policies will have an indirect affect on the family for example; in 1870 the Fosters Act ‘compulsory education’ was introduced for all children. This law had an indirect effect on the family as the family had to follow this law which was set out by the government making families behave in certain ways; sending their children to school was a must. It is argued that social policies are adapted in order to encourage people to live within certain types of households and therefore it discourages other types of households. Feminists say that social policies favour the traditional nuclear family. Sociologist Allan (1985) says that policies are in favour for gender roles and generational relations within the family. Daphine Johnson, 1982, states that the compulsory education act encourages the nuclear family due to the organization of schools. The Dealmaking accelerates as federal contractors jockey for spending hours, roughly around 9am – 3pm, discourages single parent families and dual worker families as these hours make it hard for the parents to deal with the employer’s needs and wants whilst combining childcare needs too. Therefore Environmental groups set meetings on Middle Fork coal-ash campaign compulsory education act introduced in 1870 was in favour of the nuclear family because the male breadwinner would spend his day at work, whilst the mother dealt with the domestic issues, for example getting the kids ready and sent to school, come home, cook, clean, then pick the children up after school, help them with homework, then when the father returns from work she will deal with his emotional and physical needs too. Also the fact that the government do not fund for free nursery supervision this then encouraged mums to look after their children and take on that responsibility, and the child benefit that the mother receives also helps with that too; therefore the mum is now not thinking about having to work to earn money as her husband will carry on being the breadwinner of the family, whilst she looks after the children. Functionalist sociologist Fletcher (1966) says that the NHS, Lit Club Writing Prompt: Gun Violence there to help the traditional family to look after their members health. Therefore such policies similar to the NHS are in benefit to society and the families in society as each policy is there to protect them. However the New Right would argue that functionalists depend on the state too much and the New Right believe that the less families that depend on the state the better. Sociologist Roy Parker, 1982, says that the state assistance is not given to the elderly because the government expect that the families will look after them. Yet again this is in benefit to the nuclear family as the wife of the family are expected to take on their relatives domestic problems too as well as her intermediate family, encouraging her to stay out of work, or if she must work only being able to work part time. These social policies are all encouraging a certain type of social behaviour within certain family households. These social policies in support of the traditional nuclear family are trying to reduce the percentage of social problem. Sociologist Murray, 1984, says that the welfare benefits and housing provided by the government in fact weaken the self reliance of families. The child support agency (1993) is seen as being suited for all family types, divorced, separate and never married couples who live apart, but although it supports all family types this agency is seen as supporting the traditional nuclear family still as the work that the child support agency entitles makes it hard for the fathers to avoid finical responsibilities for their children, and imposes costs on parents who do not live as one. This policy has an effect on certain households and family types as different family structures will find it more expensive finically if they do not live together as one, whereas a nuclear family will receive help which is not as finically expensive as families who are not traditional. However although there are many sociologist which see that most social policies are in favour of the traditional nuclear family, not all sociologist agree. Brenda Almond (2006) says that the most recent policies are not in favour of the traditional nuclear family well in fact that most policies these days are undermining he traditional family structures. In example to this the Tax legislation law goes against families where both parents are working because two earner families will pay less tax than one earner families. The divorce reform act makes it too easy for families to break up and for parents to get a divorce, therefore encouraging family diversity and undermining the idea that marriage is a life term commitment. The wide, universal knowledge of civil partnership also encourages family diversity and makes it known that conventional families are no longer the norm within society. Fox Harding (1991) believes that social policies are not supporting the conventional nuclear family, and are going against everything that the nuclear family stands for. Cohabitation laws when not married encourage a new family structure and different type of household. Divorce laws do no longer guarantee long term sustainability of a family. New Right are against family diversity and the welfare state. New Do we need a presidential system? thinkers Murray, Marsland and Saunders believe that the government should not interfere with the family institution. Although the New Right are against all this they believe that children have suffered from Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt: Candid pictures of the duo you shouldnt miss! deprivation, because most social policies are discouraging mothers to stay at home and look after their kids. They also argue that acts such as the Divorce reform act also discourage from the nuclear family as divorce is now to Starting Sentences With Conjunctions to get and therefore leads to more family diversity. The New Right are now starting to blame certain social policies and the idea that children are suffering from maternal deprivation as the cause of more social problem within society. The New Right think that cause of acts such as Tax legislation and the Divorce How to Take the SAT, ACT for Free act, deviant behaviour within society such as crime and underachievement in Education is cause of certain policies. Different households such as lone parent households have a negative impact on the children involved and encourage deviant behaviour. Marsland argues Teaching Jane Austen With The New York Times: A Celebration of Her Work social problems such as crime, is caused by too many social policies, and because of more public friction and private misery due to some social policies the government have to create more social policies to get rid of the social behaviour which is causing social problems. In criticism of New Right policies up to 1977 were in fact were there to make sure that the family were not getting overpowered with social policies and the right of individuals within the family. So policies such as the rape act were made to improve the health and safety within the society. In conclusion most social policies and laws have a different type of impact on the family depending on the family structure and household. Most social policies acts underestimate the idea of a traditional nuclear family and do encourage different norms within society which could link to the increase in deviant behaviour within the household and society.