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Individualism and Postmodernism

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Postmodernism and family diversity: * Diversity fragmentation: * Increasingly fragmented * More a collection of subcultures than a single culture shared by all * Different ethnic and youth subcultures sexual preferences, social movements * Rapid social change * New technology, and electronic media have dissolved old barriers of time and space, transformed our patterns of work and leisure and accelerated the pace of change. * One effect of this rapid social change is to make life less predictable

Individualism thesis * Giddens and Beck: * Argue that class gender and family are losing importance * Traditional roles prevented choice in life courses * Post modern society – no longer any fixed roles to follow – ‘disembedded’ from traditional family life * Beck (1992): ‘do it yourself biography’ * Giddens (1992) greater choice and equality 1. Contraception-sex and intimacy-replaced reproduction as reason for relationships 2. Women are independent – greater opportunities and feminism * Basis of marriage and family has changed, external factors no longer keep people together * ‘the pure relationship’ * no longer based on laws norms values or tradition – relationships now based on choice * exists to satisfy each partners needs * same sex partners: Siddens idea that s/s couples are able to redefine the family

* the negotiated family: * Ulrich Beck (1992) * Beck argues we now live in a ‘risk society’ – people more choice * Nuclear patriarchal family undermined. As a result of two reason: greater equality and greater individualism - Therefore, there is a new type of family * Beck and Beck-Oernshiem (1995) – negotiated family = people negotiate roles * The zombie family: * The family is now dead * Beck sees the family as no longer able to provide security. It…...

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