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May 14, 2018 / C H Thompson

New right views of the family – revision notes

  • New Right ideas stress the importance of this individual responsibility rather thanNew Right relying on the state eg private welfare provision
  • Such a policy allowed Mrs Thatcher to introduce the principle of cuts in welfare provision in the mid-1980s
  • This policy shift placed greater emphasis on the family as the cornerstone of society
  • But it wasn’t any old family which was the cornerstone of society but the nuclear family
  • Conservative MP John Redwood said in 1993: ‘The natural state should be two adults caring for their children’

Redwood’s concern about the decline of the nuclear family was shared by fellow Conservatives, who were also concerned the functions of the family would be undermined by:

  • the growth in lone parent families
  • increasing divorce
  • increasing cohabitation

Therefore, for the new right, a functional nuclear family (they don’t like family diversity) prevents the growth in lone parent families; divorce and cohabitation cultivate the growth in lone parent families. In other words the function, purpose, of the family for the new right is to prevent lone parent families.



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