Examine the Ways in Which Government Policies and Laws May Affect the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity?

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Examine the ways in which government policies and laws may affect the nature and extent of family diversity? Over the years, government policies have been introduced which have affected the nature of several family types. These policies are mainly seen as beneficial to family life; however, sociologists such as functionalists may see it as a threat to the traditional nuclear family. One of the main families which have been affected by a number of policies is the nuclear family. One of these policies is the divorce act 1969; which has made it easier for couples to get divorced. Due to this, marriage has become less sacred which has made the family unit weaker. Couples may get a divorce instead of trying hard in the relationship to make it better. Another law affecting the family is the new deal 1998; which makes it easier for lone mothers to get back into paid work. This was introduced by the Labour party, who Lewis argues have taken on the idea of ‘social investment in children’ seriously and have realised family forms are changing. The Labour party have introduced a number of laws, attempting to strengthen the family unit. They were mainly concerned on helping the social and economic position of women, for example, marital rape was made illegal in 1991 by the Labour party. The rights of children have also been improved by the labour party due to the children’s act of 1989. New right thinkers however; believe that these laws undermine the traditional male dominance in families, but many believe these new policies for women and children strengthen the family rather than weaken it. Sociologists such as new right thinkers argue that the Labour party has constructed a ‘nanny state’ which over-intervenes in personal living arrangements. The Labour party have constructed many laws beneficial for women in families as they have realised most families now rely of two
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