Examine The Ways In Which Social Policies And Laws May Influence Families And Households

893 words - 4 pages

Currently, in the UK, the family is a fairly unregulated sphere of life, compared with different societies such as China. Laws and social policies in Britain today tend to encourage or discourage certain types of families, rather than actively enforcing them like China’s one child policy. Government agencies and institutions only seem to take an active role on policing areas of family life when things are perceived to have gone wrong, such as regulating the fair distribution of assets following the breakdown of a marriage.

Most current social policies in the UK come from a New Labour perspective, as this party have been in power for almost 12 years. Therefore, many of these current social ...view middle of the document...

Radical feminists, especially those supporting separatism or the creation of matrilocal households, are in favour of this as it makes it far easier for women living independently of men to still be able to raise children.

However, some of New Labour’s other policies are more closely to linked to ones supported by the new right, as they have reduced the amount of benefits available to single parent families, in conjunction with the New Right theory that the family should be a self-reliant entity, and that benefits available to single parents offer “perverse incentives”. This benefit cut makes it more difficult for single parents to manage to survive economically.

This policy has been heavily criticized by feminists as a clear example of the New Right ideology of attempting to justify a return to the patriarchal nuclear family, by forcing women to remain in marriages by making them economically dependant on their husband.

This policy would also be criticised by Marxists, as it only really affects those on a lower income, and therefore contradicts the claim that this is a step towards reinstating the nuclear family for everyone in society. The wealthier people in our society would be almost completely unaffected by this policy, and therefore it serves only to reinforce the ruling class ideology onto the proletariat, whilst permitting the bourgeoisie to do as they please, one of the many hypocrisies evident in capitalism.

Both of these examples of social policy come from a fairly democratic society, where the family is mostly a private affair. People that claim this often take examples of extreme societies, like Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s. Under...

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