Social Policy

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This essay will use the McPhail family case study. The essay will look at the Functionalism and Feminism theory in relation to the case study family and show the effects of two sociological perspectives and there importance in assisting the social care worker to understand the family. The essay will also look at social policy on how it is developed and he issues of private and public issues. This will include how four sectors of social care will aid the case study family and how these organisations are funded. In today’s society, there are many different family structures and these structures are interpreted differently depending on the individual. There are five main ‘types’ of family structures and these can change throughout the life span of the family. In the case of the McPhail family, their family structure can be ‘labelled’ differently depending on when the family is viewed. The McPhail family consists of a grandparent John (68), parents John (42) and Betty (42) and their children Billy (25), Michael (23), Sandy (20), Lisa (15) and Charlene (12). This according to the family structure types this family would fall under the heading of ‘Extended’ family due to grandparent John being cared for by the family. But this can change or take on multiple family types. For example, Parent John’s work pattern, who works away from home with his two eldest sons. So using structure types John would become a ‘Lone Parent’ of his sons that are with him and this could also be applied to Betty with the remaining children in her care. There is also when grandparent John goes into respite, the family structure becomes a ‘Nuclear’ family. This shows that in today’s society there is no longer a 'normal' family structure and with changes within the family is no longer stable. Their roles in their society are deemed different from 'normal' society. As the John (42) and his two eldest sons are the workers of the family, they are known as the providers, like a lot of families the males of the family will go out to work. This leaves Betty (42) as the carer of the family that brings up the children and nurturing their traditional norms and values on the children. But there is a difference which in today's society is deemed different and that is that Betty although labelled the 'Homemaker' has no say on the financial decisions of the family, which is the responsibility of John (42). In society today this is not so common within families, as typically both parents have the financial obligations to the family unit. And within the travelling community money is not spoken about to others and with the women of the family. The use of sociological perspectives can also explain the workings of this family within society. In the case of the McPhail family there are two of the sociological theories that fit this family. The first being Functionalism Theory, which this theory sees society as a system with a set of interconnected parts that together work to provide for the family needs. According to Functionalists, the family is an important positive role in developing the next generation. The McPhail family parents nurture the children by entrusting their norms and values, which according to Functionalists is how the family should work but only if the gypsy society was the dominant society. As they are not and our society is seen as the ‘correct’ society then this family is now deemed as ‘Dysfunctional’ which the gypsies/ travellers community are seen as different and do not follow the norms, values and roles of our society but for this family their norms and values have been passed down through generation to generation and are seen as ‘normal’ within the gypsie society. The McPhail's have strict cultural values that of the gypsy community are very strong and not always seen as acceptable in today's society. This sociological perspective shows how their behaviour, experiences and life chances are affected. The travelling community are strict...
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