Identify and Explain Two Ways Social Policy Shapes Family Life

Topics: Marriage, Family, Gender role Pages: 1 (354 words) Published: February 24, 2013
Firstly, postmodernists would say that social policy is a good thing for family life. With the changes in social policy, it encourages diversity within the family. For example the divorce law has made it easier and cheaper for women to get divorced, which means has had a knock on effect with families. The way it's had a knock on effect is that there have been more divorces, less people getting married first time, and more people getting married for the second time, which is called the reconstitued family. You also have more and more people moving in together before they want to marry, so they see how well they live together, and this is called cohabitation. These are other forms of living together, either as a couple or as a family, which shows different and diverse living arrangements, which the postmodernists would encourage, instead of the normal/traditional nuclear or extended family types. Also, the postmodernists would also argue that having diverse living arrangements is beneficial to people because there is more of a choice for people to have, although some people may prefer to be in other living arrangements, some can't due to reasons such as: old women who is widowed, abuse within the relationship and the person abused may be to scared to tell anyone let alone leave their partner.

On the other hand, the New Right would want social policy to stick to "traditional" family roots. This means they would want many laws changed such as the aforementioned divorce law as well as gay marriage to be illegal. The New Right would also like to see the return of traditional gender roles. They would like to see the wife playing the expressive role which is the role of the housemaker, and doing everything for the husband. The husband plays the instrumental role, which is the role where the male is the sole earner for the family (also known as the breadwinner). There has been a decline in these roles as women have been treated more fairly inside the workplace and...
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