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Section A

Answer question 1.

1 Family diversity is found in most societies. This diversity is either organisational or cultural. Organisational diversity focuses on kinship patterns, the ways families organise their individual domestic duties and the way in which families are linked to wider society. The reconstituted family is an example of organisational diversity. Cultural diversity focuses on the influences of class and ethnicity on family types. Sociologists are interested in understanding the extent to which family diversity exists in different societies.

Using the work of the Rapoports in the 1980s, Allan and Crow emphasise the increasing trend toward diversification of family types and arrangements. They believe that these new diverse styles enable individuals to exercise more choice in their living arrangements and family relationships.

(a) What is meant by the term reconstituted family? [2]

1 A partial definition such as families with step children OR step family.

2 An accurate definition such as a family in which one or both of the partners have child(ren) from previous relationships.

An example on its own will not be credited. If an example is used to support a definition, thereby demonstrating understanding of the term, this will be credited.

(b) Describe two family types, apart from the reconstituted family. [4]

Points that can be included

• Lone parent

• Beanpole

• New World Black Family

• Extended

• Nuclear

• Same sex family

• Empty nest

• Common law

• Neo-conventional family

• Modified extended family.

Do not allow step families/civil partnership/marriage/co-habitation/same sex partnership. × 2

Two marks are available for each family form. One mark for identification OR development.

To gain the mark for development some detail must be given about the type identified. One mark for the example plus one mark for development (2 × 2)

(c) Explain why individuals are able to exercise more choice in their living arrangements today. [8]

L 1 0–4Answers at this level are likely to show only limited appreciation of the issues raised in the question.

Lower in the level a simple answer which identifies the types of choices individuals may (or may not) face but is unlikely to make reference to social change may be worth 1 or 2 marks.

Higher in the level, an answer might advance a few limited observations such as the freedom to choose that individuals in some societies may (or may not) have may be worth 3 or 4 marks, but there is likely to be little depth in the explanations offered and the answer may rely on description rather than explanation.

If a link is made to any relevant research or methods but without it being explicit candidates might reach the top of the band.

L 2 5–8 Answers at this level show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and will outline how social change has enabled individuals to exercise choice. In this level there is likely to be some accurate reference to either theory, studies or the use of concepts.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of some of the societal change(s) that have enabled individuals to exercise choice such as secularisation/industrialisation/urbanisation/education/media (this could be done by reference to legal changes) and how this has enabled choices that would have not been available in the past could receive a mark of 5–6.

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of the ways in which social changes have enabled individuals to exercise choice and sociological theories arguing that the decline in the nuclear family has enabled individuals to exercise more choice may gain 7 or 8 marks. Answers may make reference to the work of Weeks. Place at the top of the level according to depth and/or range of examples explained and supported by reference to theory, concepts or empirical data.

A good list of underdeveloped points may gain up to six marks. To go higher, there needs to be some development of three or more points or detailed development of two or more points.

N.B. This question asks candidates to ‘explain’ therefore there is no requirement for assessment.

(d) Assess the view that the extent of family diversity may have been exaggerated. [11]

L 1 0–4 Answers at this level are likely to show only limited appreciation of the issues raised in the question.

Lower in the level, a simple answer that identifies a few basic features or a few general points naming different families may gain 1 or 2 marks; these answers may describe different individual families rather than different family structures.

Higher in the level general descriptions of the supposed way in which one family type (most probably the nuclear) has broken down may be awarded a mark of 3 or 4. Other top of the band answers may argue that family diversity has not occurred. There may be little or no reference to the question.

Answers which offer weak possibly non-sociological points, even if on both sides, should be placed here. Use of sociological references in this level may be misplaced or inaccurate.

L 2 5–8 Answers at this level show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of the way in which different family types, such as the lone parent family, have increased could gain up to 5 or 6 marks. Such answers could be supported by reference to statistics.

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of why ‘traditional’ family types remain significant, and supported by reference to writers such as Murdock or Parsons OR an argument that new types of family are more dominant, making reference to writers such as the Rapoports.

Place at the top of the level according to depth and/or range of examples explained and supported by reference to theory, empirical data or concepts.

Answers in this level will probably address both sides of the debate but a onesided answer for or against the view in the question, that is done very well, could also gain up to 8 marks.

L 3 9–11 Answers at this level must achieve three things:

First, there will be good sociological knowledge and understanding.

Second, the material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question.

Third, there must also be some evidence of assessment.

Lower in the level (9–10 marks), the assessment may be based on an accurate and detailed review of both sides of the debate about the extent of diversity, or answers may focus largely on one side of the debate and offer one or two evaluative points. Some answers may note that not all societies are the same.

At the top of the level (11 marks) the notion of ‘exaggerated’ will be discussed explicitly and in reasonable depth. There will be clear, explicit and sustained evaluation of the points made.

There will probably be a discussion of key concepts such as organisational diversity, cultural diversity, migration, negotiated family, same sex family, life course analysis. Some answers may analyse the different meanings that can be attached to the family.


Section B

Answer either question 2 or question 3.

2 Explain and assess the view that there is greater equality in relationships between parents and children than in the past. [25]

L 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about relations between parents and children stating either that they have changed or that they have not with little or no accurate sociological support or reference to the question. In this band answers may relate to society generally rather than the relationship between parents and children.

Lower in the level, answers may be confined to one or two simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, one or two simple points; for example, stating that children now have ‘better’ lives’ may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, an answer stating that children have more legal rights (or not) may gain up to 6 marks.

L 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and there will be some attempt to directly answer the question set with specific reference to parents and children. At this level answers are likely to be one sided but answers with limited use of sociological theories, studies or concepts are likely to be here even if reference to a debate is included.

Lower in the level (7–9 marks), the answer may be confined to a narrow range of points, lacking detail and possibly with some inaccuracies. For example, an outline of the supposedly ‘equal’/‘oppressive’ way that children are treated in some families with no development, may gain up to 9 marks.

Higher in the level (10–12 marks), answers may either cover a narrow range of points in reasonable detail or cover a wider range of points in limited detail. Historical descriptions of the development of childhood that make some reference the relationship with parents should be placed here.

Points candidates might cover include discussion of the work of Aries, functions of the family in different societies, family roles, and dysfunctional family structures, children as workers, soldiers and gender variation in relation to parents.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level although it may be present. Answers should include some accurate use of sociological theory, studies or concepts.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), answers may use only a limited range of knowledge, there will be little use of concepts or theory, and the points covered may lack development or specific focus on the question. Candidates may discuss the meaning of child centred and the status of children.

Higher in the level (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts or theory, where relevant, and include some welldeveloped points.

L 4 19–25 Answers at this level must achieve three things:

First, there will be good sociological knowledge and understanding.

Second, the material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question.

Third, there must also be some evidence of assessment.

Answers in this level may provide a solid account of the historical developments in childhood and the relationship between parents and children and may take some account of differences between societies as well as subcultural variations.

There could also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the view of James, Jenks and Prout and four key ways of approaching children (socially constructed, tribal, minority group, relational and structural). Reference could also be made to class and ethnic variations or legal changes.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments and theories. Alternatively, the assessment may be limited to just one or two evaluative points that are explicitly stated.

Higher in the level (22–25 marks), there will be sustained assessment and the points offered will be explicit and well-directed towards the question.

There is likely to be a well formulated conclusion.

3 Explain and assess the view that the nuclear family serves the interests of the state. [25]

L 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about whether the family serves the state or not and are unlikely to contain accurate sociological support or reference to the question

Lower in the level, answers may be confined to one or two simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, one or two simple points stating family produce children to help the state to continue may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points based on assertion/common sense understanding. For example, an answer stating that the family puts money into the state and therefore supports it or that the state supports the family through services and so the state supports the family may gain up to 6 marks.

L 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and there will be some attempt to directly answer the question set which should include some reference to theory, even if by implication. At this level answers are likely to be one sided but answers with limited use of sociological theories, studies or concepts are likely to be here even if reference to a debate is included.

Lower in the level (7–9 marks), the answer may be confined to a narrow range of points, lacking detail and possibly with some inaccuracies. For example, an outline of the Marxist view that the nuclear family serves the needs of capitalism with no development or reference to the state or the functionalist view that everything works together may gain up to 9 marks.

Higher in the level (10–12 marks), answers may either cover a narrow range of points in reasonable detail or cover a wider range of points in limited detail. Points candidates might cover include discussion of functions of the family and functionalist views of the March of Progress, Marxist views of the family supporting the ruling class as well as the consequences of family diversity.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding which should make specific reference to theory. The material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level although it may be present. Answers should include some accurate use of sociological theory, studies or concepts.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), answers may use only a limited range of knowledge, there will be little use of concepts or theory, and the points covered may lack development or specific reference to the question.

Higher in the level (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts or theory, where relevant, and include some welldeveloped points. At the top of the level answers should include more detail in range or depth of sociological theory, studies and concepts.

L 4 19–25 Answers at this level must achieve three things:

First, there will be good sociological knowledge and understanding.

Second, the material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively to answering the question.

Third, there must also be some evidence of assessment.

Answers in this level may provide a solid account Marxist, Neo-Marxist, feminist, functionalist, New Right and possibly post-modernist theories of the relationship between the nuclear family and the state.

There could also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the variety of family forms that exist outside the nuclear family and the consequences of this for the state.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments and theories. Alternatively, the assessment may be limited to just one or two evaluative points that are explicitly stated.

Higher in the level (22–25 marks), there will be sustained assessment and the points offered will be explicit and well-directed towards the question.

There is likely to be a well formulated conclusion.

Useful information (Hints)

Question 1(a)

Question 1(b)

Question 1(c)

Question 1(d)

Question 2

Question 3