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July 1, 2008 / C H Thompson

Outcomes of fragmented families

The causes and outcomes

The answers to the points raised in the previous lesson are (from a New Right perspective!!!):

  • Lone-parenting causes a breakdown of traditional family values by saying other types of families are just as valid as the traditional nuclear family
  • Fatherless families causes over-generous welfare payments to single mothers which means fathers are left off their responsibilities to their children
  • Increasing divorce rates has been brought about by the rise in feminism which has devalued marriage, domesticity, childrearing, and has caused women to seek fulfilment outside the home, such as the workplace
  • Cohabitation has caused an increase in permissiveness and erosion in loyalty
  • The increasing tolerance of gay and lesbian couples has eroded the value of heterosexual marriage
  1. What are the consequences of all the above for the family? Try and answer this question, to help think about functionalist views of the family! And this comedy sketch might help you!


The consequences for the family from the above is ‘fragmented families’ can no longer function properly for example effective socialisation is impossible. This means children fail to perform at school and are generally anti-social, resulting in more criminal activity. Many New Right thinkers argue that poor socialisation stems from absent fathers. Families without fathers mean many youngsters, particularly boys, lack male role models, particularly when it comes to discipline. Therefore families no longer function in an effective way which causes numerous social problems.


The New Right proposed to key solutions to the problem of the underclass. First a return to traditional family values, which means marriage for life and recognition of the duties and responsibilities of adults have when bringing children into the world. Secondly a change in government policy so that welfare payments would be designed to support the nuclear family and penalise those families which failed to live up to this ideal

Next lesson here


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