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Section A

Answer question 1.

1 Gershuny argues that as more women are working full time in modern industrial societies, relationships within the home are becoming egalitarian. He explains that this trend towards greater equality has come about due to changes in society’s values and ideas about parenting. With mothers in paid employment and fathers undertaking more domestic chores, the experience of family life is changing for its members and children are raised in a more tolerant atmosphere.

Feminist sociologists Ferri and Smith argue that in spite of women undertaking more paid employment there is little evidence that a new man is emerging. They claim that women now undertake both paid employment and also continue to carry out the majority of unpaid domestic work. When men do undertake household tasks they tend to spend less time on these tasks than their female partners do. Therefore, Ferri and Smith conclude that inequality in conjugal roles remains a feature of modern industrial societies.

(a) What is meant by the term new man? [2]

One mark for a partial definition such as a man who does his fair share of housework OR a reference to emotional aspects of family life.

Two marks for an accurate definition of the new man as a male who is more caring, sharing, gentle and emotional in his attitudes compared to traditional males, sharing decision making housework and child care with his partner.

(b) Describe two changes in ideas about parenting. [4]

‘Ideas’ can be interpreted as those stemming either from parents, children or from society.

Points that could be referred to

• Legal changes

• Children’s support services

• Family planning

• Child care practices

• Both sons and daughters educated

• Child centered

• Both parents in paid employment

• Children have more status

• Fathers more involved with childcare

• No longer a priority for some/rejection of parenthood

• Parents no longer solely responsible for socialisation

• Parents use other institutions like nurseries

• Technology

• Children’s views on divorce and remarriage

• Co-parenting

• Secularisation

• Single parent families have less social stigma/more socially acceptable

• Any other valid point

One mark for a named change and one mark for development (2 × 2)

(c) Explain how the roles of children can vary between families. [8]

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 which identifies how children in some families can have access to more/less toys and activities today may be worth 1 or 2 marks.

Higher in the level, an answer might advance a few limited observations such as the need for children to work, or not, may be worth 3 or 4 marks, but there is likely to be little depth in the explanations offered and the answer will rely on description rather than explanation and in this level they may contrast childhood in different societies rather than within the same society.

5–8 Answers at this level show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question and include comments about differences to be found in families within society or between societies.

Lower in the level, a simplistic description of the influence of the social position of different families and how this affects what children are expected to do or answers which identifies a point but lacks detail and such answers could receive a mark of 5–6.

Higher in the level, a more detailed account of the different roles of children in families that may feature class, gender, religion, employment, education and child carers as well as difference within /between societies and such answers 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, studies or empirical data.

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

(d) Assess the view that inequality in conjugal roles remains a feature of modern industrial societies. [11]

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

Lower in the level, a simple answer that identifies a few basic features such as inequality remaining in families may gain 1 or 2 marks; these answers may describe different specific families rather than outline different trends.

Higher in the level general descriptions of different relationships and whether they are to be found in modern industrial societies may be awarded a mark of 3 or 4.

Other top of the level answers may argue that inequality remains because household tasks are not shared evenly with little or no reference to the question.

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 relationships can be seen to have become more equal (or not) with both spouses contributing to household tasks and income could gain up to 5 or 6 marks. Such answers could be supported by reference to the studies of domestic relationships such as those of Allan and Crow. Higher in the level, a more detailed account of whether relationships within the home remain unequal (or not) and may support their answers by reference to feminist writers such as Ansley.

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

9–11 Answers at this level will demonstrate good sociological knowledge and understanding applied to the question. There will also be an assessment of the view on which the question is based.

Lower in the level (9–10 marks), the assessment may be based on a simple juxtaposition of the idea that conjugal roles are or are not becoming more equal or answers may be confined to just one or two evaluative points such as power sharing (or not).

At the top of the level (11 marks) the ‘remains a feature’ will be evaluated explicitly and in some depth. The most likely way in which this could happen is by addressing the notion of inequality conjugal roles probably by a discussion of key concepts such as decision making or agenda setting and symmetrical family. Some answers may note that not all conjugal roles in one society are the same.


Section B

Answer either question 2 or question 3.

2 Explain and assess the factors shaping the structure of the family in modern industrial societies. [25]

Level 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about families with little or no sociological support.

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 points about the structure of the family in modern industrial societies 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 increased life expectancy or smaller families are important factors may gain up to 6 marks.

Level 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question.

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 features influencing the structure of the family or a description of different family types without 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 e.g. the changing social position of men, women and children, industrialisation, changing work practices, changing infant mortality, fertility rates and secularisation, life expectancy and economic factors such as length of education.

Level 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted accurately in answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level although it may be present.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), answers may use only a limited range of knowledge, there will be little use of concepts/theory/studies, and the points covered may lack development for example a description of the development of a new structure like the beanpole family.

Higher in the level (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts/theories/studies, where relevant, and include some well-developed points that may well highlight diversity.

Level 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.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments/theories. Alternatively, the assessment may be limited to just one or two evaluative points that are explicitly stated. Answers in this level may provide a solid account of the position of nuclear families (or not) in modern industrial societies that could include reference to functionalist views of their suitability for such societies and a critique of that position.

There could also be a sustained and well informed assessment of demographic and other explanations accounting for why structures change such as changing social attitudes, work practices, class, ethnicity, education and laws.

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. This could be by a more direct analysis of the theories that account for changing family structures or those that argue that diversity has always been a feature of societies both in the past and in the contemporary world. This analysis may take the form of arguing family structure is now a matter of individual choice and not linked to structural factors.

One way to do this would be to show how in some societies the dominance of the nuclear family may be questioned. Another way of gaining the highest marks is to assess the evidence that different families are common in societies. Concepts such as family life cycle, fluidity and family ‘practices’ (Morgan) could be included.

There is likely to be a well formulated conclusion.

3 ‘Elderly people have a low status in the family in all societies’. Explain and assess this view. [25]

Level 1 0–6 Answers at this level are likely to be assertive and focus on a few common sense observations about the position of the elderly with little or no sociological support.

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 points about how the old are treated 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 elderly may be perceived as having wisdom in some societies may gain up to 6 marks.

Answers in this level may confuse status in the family with status in society.

Level 2 7–12 Answers at this level will show some sociological knowledge and understanding of the question.

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 status of the elderly within a family compared to those who live independently 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 e.g. the social factors that determine status i.e. wealth, age, gender, social prestige and the consequences of dependency or the greying of society.

Level 3 13–18 Answers at this level will show good sociological knowledge and understanding. The material used will be interpreted accurately and applied effectively in answering the question. There is no requirement for assessment at this level.

Answers that enter this level may be clearly focused on the social position of the elderly within their families and may refer to the demographic time bomb or an ageing population and the regarding of the elderly as a ‘problem’. This may be linked to the consideration of cultural practices such as comparison between traditional rural communities where the elderly are valued within families for their knowledge and Nomadic ones where that are regarded as a burden and clearly show that the difference does not have to be between modern industrial societies and traditional ones.

Lower in the level (13–15 marks), answers may use only a limited range of knowledge, there will be little use of concepts/theories/studies, and the points covered may lack development.

Higher in the level (16–18 marks), answers will use a wider range of knowledge, supported by the use of concepts/theories/studies where relevant and include some well-developed points.

Level 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.

Lower in the level (19–21 marks), the assessment may be largely delivered through juxtaposition of contrasting arguments/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.

Answers in this level may provide a solid account of the status of the elderly in different societies and could include a discussion of the social construction of age and a comparison of modern industrial and traditional societies. There could also be debates such as the experience of different sub-groups for example as the poverty of many elderly women compared to elderly men or the working class elderly dependent on benefits compared to those with other sources of income.

There may also be a more direct analysis of how much respect is given to the elderly in different societies. This analysis may take the form of arguing respect from obligation is difficult to compare to respect from choice.

Other answers may include an evaluation of the functionalist analysis of ageing and disengagement or to consider issues of power and structured dependency (Vincent). Concepts that may be included: – intimacy at a distance, disengagement, infantilized, silver pound, grey power, gender variations, dependency ratio, third age, fourth age (Laslett) could all be referred to.

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

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