Families and Households

families and households mind map A-level sociology

This page provides links to blog posts on the main topics of the AQA’s  Families and Households module. It’s gradually being populated and most of the families and households material should be completed by end of November 2016. If you like this sort of thing – you might like to check out my various revision resources for sale on Sellfy.

families and households mind map A-level sociology

An Introduction to the Sociology of the Family

Families and Households: Key ConceptsA glossary of definition of key terms covering most of the major sociological concepts relevant to the AQA’s families and households module. Let’s face it, learning the language of sociology is half the battle!

Defining the Familyyour perspective on the family will depend on how you define the family, which isn’t necessarily as easy as you might think! Is it acceptable to include friends, or pets as part of your definition . of ‘the family’ for example? This post covers this important introductory topic. 

Families  in the UK – Seven Interesting Statistics – class notes on some basic statistics on family life in the UK, from 2017. 

Surveys on family life in the UK I like A-level sociology to be data-led – this post presents the results on four surveys on different aspects of family life in the UK, with some thoughts on the strengths and limitations of the data.

Families and Households Exam Advice (AQA A-level) 

AQA A-level paper 2: topics in sociology exam advicea general post explaining the 3 styles of questions in this section of paper 2. Only covers the families and households section (section A) of paper 2.

How I would have answered the 2017 A-level Sociology paper 2 exam (families and households section) – brief notes briefly outlining how I would have tackled this exam paper.

Perspectives on The Family

An Overview of what you need to know –a knowledge check list covering key concepts, research studies, sociologists, and some suggested short answer and essay style exam questions for this aspect of the A-level sociology specification. 

The Functionalist perspective on the family – detailed class notes covering Murdock’s 4 functions of the family, Talcott Parson’s functional fit theory, and his ‘two irreducible functions of the nuclear family in industrial society’, as well as a reminder about Functionalist ideas on traditional gender roles.

The Marxist perspective on the family – detailed class notes covering Engel’s theory of the relationship between private property and the emergence of the nuclear family, as well as contemporary Marxist views on the family as a unit of consumption.

The Marxist perspective on the familyvery brief revision notes: four power point slides covering ‘the basics’. Use in conjunction with the more detailed class notes above. 

Feminist perspectives on the family – detailed class notes covering liberal, Marxist and radical feminist perspectives on the role of the nuclear family in society. In short, liberal feminists have a march of progress view of family life’, the radical feminist view emphasises the ways in which the traditional nuclear family perpetuates patriarchy and focuses on the ‘dark side of family life’ and Marxist Feminists emphasise how the traditional nuclear family performs functions for capitalism, at the expense of women.

The Liberal Feminist perspective on the family detailed class notes and evaluations covering the liberal feminist view that there is nothing wrong with the nuclear family structure as such, and that gender equality in society more generally is more important. 

The Marxist Feminist perspective on the familyclass notes covering Engel’s view on the relationship between private property an the emergence of the nuclear family and more contemporary Marxist views on how the nuclear family encourages high levels of consumption. 

The Radical Feminist perspective on the familyradical feminists are the ‘big girls’ of Feminism – these are the gals who argue that the nuclear family is the fundamental institution which is the root of female oppression. It is the thing which should be resisted through political lesbianism, or women just staying single. 

The New Right View of the family – the New Right have a traditional view of family life… they believe the stable, married, nuclear family is best for children and society. 

The postmodern view of the family – Postmodernists emphasise the fact that the nuclear family has long been in decline and that there is no ‘main type’ of family any more in postmodern society. 

The Late Modern perspective on the family – this technically means Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck, who IMO are described as LATE MODERNISTS. However, if you’re an A-level student, most A-level text books and the AQA lump them in with postmodernists.

The Personal Life Perspective on the family – Personal Life thinkers believe we need to understand the family from the perspective of the individuals within the family. These are the guys who believe that if an individual believes that dogs and dead relatives are part of the family then we should accept that that is their view of the family and analyse the impact of the family from that point of view. 

Evaluate the view that the main aim of the family is to meet the needs of capitalisma full essay with an essay plan using the PEEC essay planning method.

Marriage, Divorce and Cohabitation

Overview of what you need to know – a knowledge check list covering key concepts, research studies, sociologists, and some suggested short answer and essay style exam questions 

Explaining the changing patterns of marriage – class notes exploring the main reasons for the long term decline in marriage (among other trends) – such as increasing gender equality/ female liberation, the increasing cost of marriage, and the increase in individualism with the shift to a postmodern society. 

Explaining the changing patterns of divorcemind map

Examine the long term increase in divorce ratesessay plan

The consequences of declining marriage and increasing divorce – class notes

Outline and explain two reasons for the decline in marriage (10) – exemplar of a 10 mark ‘outline and explain (no item) question which could come up in AQA’s paper 2 (7192/1)

Trends in Family Structure – Family Diversity/ The Decline of the Nuclear Family?

Trends in family and household diversity – very brief class notes (really an introduction to the topic) 

Official Statistics on family and household diversity – trends 2016 update. You might also like this 2018 update

How have families become more diverse?very brief visual revision notes – one summary PPT slide.

Conceptualizing family diversitydetailed class notes covering the ‘myth of the cereal pack family’, the Rapoport’s five types of family diversity, and post-modern conceptions of ‘radical diversity’: the idea that there is no longer any such thing as a ‘normal’ family or ‘life-course.  

Explaining the increase in family diversity part 1/3 – detailed class notes

Explaining the increase in family diversity part 2/3 –class notes

Evaluating the view that the nuclear family is in decline part 3/3 – class notes

Why do so many young adults live with their parents? – detailed class notes and evaluations

Examining how family life varies by ethnicity in the UK – class notes

Outline and explain two ways in which changes to gender roles may have affected the diversity of family structures (10) – a brief flow chart suggesting how you might answer this 10 mark (without item) question. 

Evaluate the view that changing gender roles are the most significant factor in explaining the increase in family diversity (20) – a very brief essay plan 

Power and Equality within Domestic Roles 

Conceptualising gender equality in relationshipsrevision notes

To what extent is the domestic division of labour equal? – class notes 

Issues of power and control in relationships – class notes



To what extent is childhood socially constructed? – class notes 

The March of Progress View of Childhood – class notes 

Toxic Childhood – Toxic childhood and Paranoid Parenting – class notes

Is childhood disappearing? –class notes

Assess the view that the family has become more child centereda brief essay plan suggesting an intro, four points with linked evaluations and a conclusion for this essay, using the PEEC planning technique. 

Social Policy

Social policy and the family (an overview of social policies) – class notes 

Sociological Perspectives on Social Policy and The Family – class notes 

How do social policies affect family life? – external link, video


Explaining changes to the birth rate – class notes

Explaining the long term decline of the death rate – class notes

The consequences of an ageing populationsummary of a Thinking Allowed Podcast from 2015

The consequences of an ageing population – mind map

Migration and its consequences for family life – very detailed class notes

How does globalisation affect family lifevery brief overview!

A Level Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle

Families Revision Bundle CoverIf you like this sort of thing, then you might like my A Level  Sociology Families and Households Revision Bundle which contains the following:

  1. 50 pages of revision notes covering all of the sub-topics within families and households
  2. mind maps in pdf and png format – 9 in total, covering perspectives on the family
  3. short answer exam practice questions and exemplar answers – 3 examples of the 10 mark, ‘outline and explain’ question.
  4.  9 essays/ essay plans spanning all the topics within the families and households topic.

If you’re not quite as flush, how about this… just the 50 pages of accessible, user friendly, exam-focused notes for only £0.99* – from iTunes, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.

*Price will vary with dollar exchange rate

Overview of my six general types of blog post

  • Knowledge check lists – these are quick check lists, typically for each topic rather than sub topic, literally just lists of concepts and some possible questions.
  • Class notes – Medium to long posts which go into each topic in some detail, text-book stylee if you like.
  • Evaluation/ Application Posts – what some students would regard as ‘bare long’ posts – these are the ones you should be reading, and writing for yourselves if you really want to ‘get’ sociology
  • Revision notes – what most of you are hear for you lazy s******* – the briefest versions of notes on each topic
  • Essay Plans – either complete or templates, sometimes bullet points – useful for exam training, but remember the exam board can quite easily throw you a curve ball essay.
  • Other types of post – sometimes I might bring out the bears or do a top ten post – in which case I’ll chuck it in here as and when I get time…

43 thoughts on “Families and Households”

  1. Hey! I am appearing in the year 2020. Are there contents missing? If yes, can you please update them. Your notes are GOLD.

  2. hi , is this the current spec for the 2019 a level course or is there anything missing?

  3. hi im appearing for a levels sociology 2019 and a lot of stuff is missing from here can you please help?

  4. A lot of pages aren’t working such as the late postmodernism page and childhood being a social construct

  5. Hi… I wasn’t aware of any changes to the A level spec next year! Maybe there are for GCSE. But these are A level resources!

  6. Hi – not ATM, but I will repackage the resources to make this combination available this week. Good suggestion!

  7. Can we purchase only the essay plans and essay tips? If not, would you able to do a bundle of all the essay plans?

  8. Hi – if you dig around the site a little then you’ll find there are plenty of examples of exam questions and model answers!

  9. Thank you. Our assignment specified using names of sociologists instead of the individual perspectives. Thank you for your help

  10. Could you help with specific sociologists for reconstituted families? Please? Got Allan and Crow but struggling to people rather than perspectives to offer opposing views.

  11. No chance – too many possible questions. Do not play the prediction game… just learn everthing! Having said that, the perspectives are more than likely to come up or be useable somewhere!

  12. i have a quick question regarding a level sociology i wanted to ask are their clear links between the topics that are obvious that the exam board may link together or is completely unpredictable

  13. Hi – good question, and as far as I’m aware, you don’t need to link to other topics in paper 2 to get into the top mark band, it’s more important to stay very focused on the particular questions, and analyse (the 10 markers) and analyse and evaluate thoroughly for the 20 mark essays. I say ‘as far as I’m aware’ – it doesn’t say you have to cross-link in either the mark scheme or the AQA specification.

  14. Quick question: For the A level examinations (year 2) do students have to make cross topic refrences in the 20/30 markers? For instance; if a question asks ‘evaluate the marxists perspective on crime’, do I link to topics such as education and families and households throughout my response, even though the question focus purley on crime or is not neccessary to reach the top band? Thank you

  15. Under ‘sociological theories’, the link for ‘social action theory: breif summary notes’ is broken.

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