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Assess the Extent to Which Social Policies Reflect and Support the Traditional Nuclear Family (24 Marks)

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Assess the extent to which social policies reflect and support the traditional nuclear family (24 marks)

A social policy refers to the plans and actions of government agencies, such as health, welfare benefits, schools etc. These can often be used by politicians to promote certain family structures, which they believe to be ‘ideal’. There are many examples of policies which the government use to try and promote the traditional nuclear family which is commonly seen as the family ideology. One example is the 1930’s Nazi government who wanted to create an Aryan race and put policies in place to sterilize certain groups to prevent them from having children. Another more recent example is China’s two child policy which was out in place to reduce the population of China. This involves women having to ask before getting pregnant and fines for couples who exceed the two child limit.

Government policies commonly support the traditional values of the nuclear family through many government institutions, which can happen directly or indirectly. One example of this is the way in which schools structure their hours and holidays. The school’s hours assume that a parent (usually the mother) is at home and is able to pick the children up, which reinforces the roles within the nuclear family of the mother being the housewife and child carer. The New Right governments in the 1980’s and 1990’s particularly stressed the importance of the nuclear family, as they saw all other family types as deviant. They introduced many policies which were designed to prevent welfare dependency and to uphold the family’s moral values. One of these policies was the creation of the Child Support Agency, which ensured that parents who were living apart, met the financial needs of their children. This meant that fathers who were separated, were still acting as the instrumental leader, furthermore…...

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