FANDOM


Back to Past papers

Section A

Answer question 1.

1 Sociologists argue that changes in family life show that there is no longer one type of family. Until recent times nuclear or extended family life was the only ‘choice’ for the members of society. Since the 1970s, however, other types of family have emerged, based on developments such as confluent love and greater equality in social life.

New Right and functionalist theorists argue that family diversity has negative consequences for the individual and society. This has created the idea that the family is in decline. New Right theorists such as Murray, Marsland and Saunders argue that the growth of welfare states encourages alternative family types which can in turn cause problems for society. Postmodernists, on the other hand, think that family diversity is positive for society. They reject New Right and functionalist arguments that the nuclear family is the most desirable family arrangement.

(a) What is meant by the term confluent love? [2]

1 A partial definition such as love that may not last/different from romantic love/not forever/conditional love.

2 An accurate definition such as a relationship based on emotional intimacy that may not be permanent or love that only lasts as long as it is emotionally fulfilling.

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 that have become more common since the 1970s. [4]

Points that can be included:

• Same sex

• Beanpole

• Common law

• Grandparent

• Reconstituted

• Lone parent/single parent

• Modified extended/dispersed extended

• Accept extended/nuclear if justified as more common

Any other accurate example

Do not allow single person/friends households/kibbutz/commune/LATs.

Two marks are available for each type.

One mark for identification of a type plus one mark for development

(c) Explain why family diversity may have a negative impact on society. [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 one or two ways such as increasing the burden of benefits on the state may be worth 1 or 2 marks. Other answers may focus on how it impacts on the family rather than society or describe child abuse in in dysfunctional relationships.

Higher in the level, an answer might advance a few limited observations such as the way in which diversity leads to the development of family structures that do not fit in with traditional values may be worth 3 or 4 marks, but there would be little depth in the explanations offered and the answer will rely on description rather than explanation and in this band answers may overlook the negative in the question.

Other answers may be simple descriptions of failing to carry out functions or increasing welfare burden. Undeveloped outlines of diversity which do not outline the consequences for society should be placed here.

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.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of the way in which changes in the nuclear family (such as working mothers/single parent families) may have led to a breakdown in socialisation or social control of the young and the consequences of this for society could receive a mark of 5–6.

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of New Right or views such as those of Murray about family diversity causing social problems or how the development of the single parent family may have weakened social control may gain 7 or 8 marks. Place at the top of the level according to depth and/or range of examples explained and supported by reference to theory or empirical data.

At this level answers may note that the New Right and functionalists are not in total agreement about the negative impact of diversity on society.

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

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

(d) Assess the extent to which individuals are free to choose their family type today. [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 about how individuals can or cannot make their own choices may gain 1 or 2 marks; these answers may identify the choices of particular individuals rather than the individual’s ability to choose their own type of family. Others may outline one or two types of diversity.

Higher in the level general descriptions of how social control is exercised over individuals may be awarded a mark of 3 or 4. Other top of the band answers may argue that some societies, such as modern industrial societies, now offer individuals free choice with little or no reference to the question. An alternative answer could describe the choices an individual might make rather than describe why they are free to do so. For example choosing a same sex family rather than explaining why you are now more able to choose a same sex family.

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. Answers which outline diversity should be placed here.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of choices available to different individuals in different societies could gain up to 5 or 6 marks. Such answers could be supported by reference to the studies such as those of Giddens (if so this is likely to be by implication).

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of how cultural values in different societies place different boundaries and possibilities for individuals, possibly supported by reference to writers such as Smart. Others may make reference to age/gender/ethnicity/religion.

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 should address both sides of the debate but a one-sided answer 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.

There will also be an assessment of whether all members of society are able to select their family type.

Lower in the level (9 – 10 marks), the assessment may be based on a simple juxtaposition of the way in which choice may, or may not, be occurring or answers may be confined to just one or two evaluative points. Answers may show how choice may be present for some in some societies but not for all in all societies. This could be through theory or use of contemporary examples such as China and the one/two child policy

At the top of the level (11 marks) the ‘choose’ aspect of the question will be evaluated explicitly and in reasonable depth. Some answers may note that practices such as divorce or living alone in one society may not be the same as another society. Answers at the top of the level are likely to make specific reference to postmodernism. Some answers may note that not all societies are the same or that changes brought about by such practices as migration may be temporary.

Key concepts that could be referred to can include chosen family, arranged marriage, cultural diversity, migration, negotiated family, same sex family, life course analysis.


Section B

Answer either question 2 or question 3.

2 Explain and assess the view that the family serves the needs of all its members equally. [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 does or does not look after the needs of all its members with little or no sociological support 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 based on one function such as economic support may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points. For example, an answer stating that the functions of the family are positive for family members or answers that can argue that families are dysfunctional (or don’t work) so needs are not provided for with no accurate development may gain 6 marks.

L 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and there should be some attempt to directly answer the question as set by showing that the family either meets the needs of some, all or none if its members. 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 functions or dysfunctions of the family 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.

Points candidates might cover include discussion of the functionalist view of the functions of the family probably in relation to economic provision or care. Alternatively, answers may discuss a range of different family members and the ways in which the family can support them, perhaps with reference to the work of Allan and Crow. Another approach would be through views of the New Right who see some families as dysfunctional for their members.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted 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. Answers which argue that equality/inequality is linked to the needs of family members that are supported place here.

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.

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 well-developed 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 of how the family may, or may not; meet the needs of its members. This may be through an examination of the position of a range of different family members.

There could also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the role of the family in different societies and sub-cultures and how different members may receive more or less from their family. It is legitimate to discuss dysfunctions and whether some family members get more from families than others.

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 elderly have high status in all societies. [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 elderly have high status within families or not with little or no sociological support or reference to the concept of status. Answers in this band may relate to the family and ignore society 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 identifying care/lack of care an individual elderly person can have may gain up to 3 marks.

Higher in the level, there may be a wider range of simple points. For example, an answer arguing that the elderly have high status in society or do not have high status that may be supported by examples from societies 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 should be some attempt to directly answer the question as set by outlining what the social status of the elderly is in some societies. At this level answers are likely to be one sided but answers with limited use of sociological theories, studies, concepts or evidence quoted from societies 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 possible with some inaccuracies. For example, an outline of the elderly as a burden in some societies compared to valued status in others, 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.

Points candidates might cover include discussion of the consequences of an ageing population, gender variation, dependency ratio, third age, fourth age, grey abuse (granny bashing), youth culture, disengagement and infantilised.

In this level references to societies may be generic rather than specific.

L 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted 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.

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 band may provide a solid account the different ways the elderly are regarded in some societies and valued in families as compared to others. There could also be a sustained and well informed assessment of the differing status of the elderly within the family based on such factors as economic position/gender.

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