How does social policy affect family life – Summary Grid

Last Updated on September 4, 2023 by Karl Thompson

A summary grid of how twelve social policies might affect different aspects of family life from 1969 to 2024.

Some of the different aspects of family life you should consider include:

  • the effects on marriage, divorce and family diversity.
  • Equality between men and women in relationships.
  • The effects on children.
  • Whether the policy supports or undermines the traditional nuclear family.

These grids are designed to help students revise for A-level sociology – the families and households topic.

The main post covering the details of these polices is here: social policy and the family.

Social policy and the family 1969 – 2004

summary grid of how social policy affects family life 2013 to 2024.

Social Policy and the family summary grid part 1

POLICYHow might this affect family life?Traditional Nuclear family?
1969 Divorce ActRapid increase in divorce. Subsequent increase in single person, single parent and stepfamily households.Undermined
1975 Employment Protection ActIncrease in maternity pay should = increase in children. Larger family sizes.Undermined traditional gender roles.
1974 Child Benefits ActIncrease in family size.Increase in lone parent families.Undermined
1998 change to child benefits= Abolition of 50p extra lone parents. Reduction in number of lone parent families.Supported
2005 Adoption ActIncrease in same-sex familiesUndermined traditional gender roles.
2004 Civil Partnership ActIncrease in legally recognised same sex partnerships. More openly visible same-sex relationships.Undermined traditional gender roles.

Social policy and the family 2013-2024

summary grid of how social policy affects family life 2013 to 2024.

Social Policy and the family summary grid part 2

POLICYHow does this affect family life?Pro Nuclear family?
2013: Child Benefit means tested > £60KNo child benefit for those with over £60K. Possible reduction in larger families.Neutral
2013 Paternity ActGreater equality between men and women. Increase in number of men being stay at home parents.Undermined traditional gender roles.
2015 Shared Parental Leave
2017: 2 child tax credit policy= no extra benefit after 2nd child. Decrease in larger families.Neutral
2022 Marriage Age Raised from 16 to 18.Reduction in forced teenage marriages.Neutral
2024: 15 hours free childcare for children from 9 monthsShould mean increase in gender equality as women are the main child carers. Might increase family size.Undermines traditional gender roles.

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