Social policy and the family (These policies have strong emphasis on the…
Social policy and the family
Social policies are laws, actions, taxation, spending programmes etc planned by the state affecting groups in society.
Laws about marriage, divorce, adoption, child protection, education, social care all affect family life.
Policies reflect a particular view of how family should operate.
Therefore meaning they have an ideological basis.
Views of social policy and the family.
Functionalism- they see social policies such as welfare state or NHS, as supporting the family, helping it to function more effectively.
Marxism- Policies towards the family protect the interests of the ruling class, reinforcing the idea that hierarchy and inequality are justifiable.
Feminism- Argue that social policies reinforce patriarchal attitudes and structures.
The New Right- Social policies such as the welfare system have resulted in family losing its functions and fragmenting.
Policies and the family
Conservative governments tend to be more traditional in their approach to family policy but most governments have introduced policies some of which reflected New right views, some which have not
Impact this has had? Civil partnerships and gay marriage (2014) puts same sex relationships on par with heterosexual relationships which has led to an increase in same sex families.
Impact- legal changes such as making divorce easier and cheaper has undermined the importance of family.
Impact- welfare benefits are too high and resulted in people becoming more reliant on state and helping lone parent families.
Impact- New right thinkers claimed it's resulted in people having children and believing the state is responsible for them.
Charles Murray said this creates a dependency culture.
These policies have strong emphasis on the family but also support diverse family forms
Longer maternity leave
Working families tax credits
Increased child benefit
Help with childcare