laws and policies affect family life

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“Examine the ways in which laws and social policies affect family life”
To start with a social policy is an initiative or plan that the government would put in place to try and fix a problem or to make a positive change in society. Various political and social groups have different opinions on social policies, for example in the UK conservatives are very right wing and as of the moment Mr Osborne is proposing to save £10billion by making cuts across the board in its welfare fund. The Labour party however would be unlikely to make such drastic cuts if they were in office. This essay will explore marriage and divorce, the welfare state and domestic abuse policies.
Marriage affect many families, the government has a number of laws to control people behaviour inside marriages for example marriages must be monogamous (You can only be married to one person at a time) Governments tend to encourage marriage as they believe the nuclear family is the ideal environment to bring up children, couples receive tax credits and other benefits this also discourages divorce, Marxists would believe that this is the governments way of supporting capitalism, by encouraging people to marry it means they remain a productive asset that they can continue to exploit. The new right would agree that the nuclear family is the best place to bring up a family but would not want to give tax credits or any other financial encouragement as they believe that its best to keep out of peoples affairs. Feminists would feel this is another way of oppressing women, by using financial means to discourage divorce the women may feel as though they are trapped in the relationship especially if they have to support outside the family.
Divorces where first made legal in 1857 although at that time they where incredible hard to get however changes in divorce laws in the late 1960s made divorces much easier and since then divorce rates have been steeply rising.
Functionalists and the New Right think that

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