The Extent to Which Social Policies Reflect and Support the Traditional Nuclear Family
Social policy is the package of measures taken to solve a social
problem. I intend to assess the New Right and New Left, the taxation
law, the Child Support Agency, the fact that the government encourages
families to look after themselves, and that 16- 18 year olds don’t get
job seekers allowance.
The New Right is traditional. It supports the nuclear family and is
for being economically independent, not relying on the state. The New
Right is associated with the right-wing Conservative policies of the
Thatcher government in Britain and that of Reagen in the USA. Key New
Right beliefs about the family- Rapoport (1989):
· Based on heterosexual marriage between 2 parents.
· The ‘building block’ of society.
· Essential to social stability.
· Separate roles performed by men and women according to their
· Two parents and strong discipline needed in families, to prevent the
clash of social order.
· All other arrangements are ‘deviant’ and therefore threat society.
· Strong views on morality and responsibility- stress law and order,
plus personal freedom and responsibility.
· Concerned about supposed current disintegration of family life
resulting for increased cohabitation, single-parent family, abortion,
· Concerned with welfare dependency, ‘scroungers’ and the rise of an
‘underclass’- and the cost of these to the state. Therefore want to
‘role back’ to the state support.
· Very critical of single mothers and illegitimate children.
· See government policy as a way of upholding moral values and forcing
people to take responsibility.
This perfectly reflects on, and supports greatly, the traditional
nuclear family as the nuclear family is based on 2 heterosexual
parents, with separate roles for men and women. The New Right also
says all other arrangements are ‘deviant’. The New Right are very
critical of single mothers and illegitimate children, all of this
making it seem socially unacceptable not to be a traditional nuclear
In 1988 changes in the taxation law meant that cohabiting couples
could not claim more tax allowances than a married couple, also
prevented from claiming mortgage relief as 2 individuals. This is
directly making it beneficial to be married. This social policy also
largely supports the traditional nuclear family as in the nuclear
family the man and woman are married and it also certainly encourages
the co-habiting couple to be married as there are more benefits for
The Child Support Agency set up in 1993 make absent parents
financially responsible, meaning the parent with the children does not
claim from the state. This somewhat reflects the nuclear family as the
nuclear family are seen as...