Tutor profile: Nadeem H.
Assess the view that in modern industrial society family life is breaking down.
d) The modern family also commonly known as the nuclear family has had radical alterations to its structure; these have been caused by the various changes in the society such as: cultural diversity, more divorce and re-marriage, there is more cohabitation between couples and more births outside marriages. Also there are same sex marriages, and in the cases of female marriages children are often involved. Family unit is based within a household. In the contemporary U.K diversity can be seen in the household composition, i.e.: in two parent families, both the parents work, one of the parents work, neither of the parents work or it is reconstituted family. Approximately 23% of households consist of a nuclear family, e.g.: a married or cohabiting couple with dependent children. 28% of households are single, with half over and half under the pensionable age, 28% were couple without children, 7% were single parents with children (out of which 90% of the families were female headed). 3% of the households had non-dependent children, 3% had two or more unrelated adults and only 1% was multi-family households. On the other hand, this data isn’t too reliable as the cyclical nature of family life means that many children may still have children, i.e.: all non-dependents children now were once dependents. Also, some single individuals shown in the data were once in nuclear families with children, which ended through either divorce or death, and the children had become dependent therefore moving away from home. Joan Barrow also conducted a study on ethnic minority, he studied West Indian families in his book ‘West Indian families: An insider’s perspective’ (1982). He claimed that Caribbean families have three main types of structures: conventional nuclear families, which are mostly to be found amongst religious or economically prosperous, groups and is seen as a sign of respectability. The second was common law families where less off married couples cohabited, and may even be a reconstituted family. Finally: Matriarchal families, which are dominated by the mother or grandmother, with the daily support being provided by the wider female kinship group, and the fathers, were transient although they did provide financial support especially for the children. These family types are reproduced in England, with the matriarchal families being the most popular. The mothers in these reproduced families have a high tendency to paid work while the grandmothers have a key role in supporting their daughters and caring for the grandchildren. Barrow suggested that slavery distorted West Indian family relationships as the slave owners often prevented nuclear families and settled relationships forming amongst slaves, which lead to the traditional matriarchal family life. Berthoud and Beishon published a book in 1997 called ‘Policy studies Institute’ in which they studied Caribbean families and found that “the most striking characteristic is a low emphasis on long term partnerships especially on formal marriage”. British Caribbean families had high divorce rates and had more children outside the wedlock than any other group. Although there being a high number of single mothers, they were more likely than other groups to have paid employment. Despite this over half the Caribbean families with children were either married or cohabited in long-term relationships. They also studied South Asian families in the same book. Berthoud and Beishon said that South Asians were “most likely to marry and marry younger than their white equivalents. Few of them lived as married and separation and divorce were relatively rare.” Almost all Asian women were married, and many with children lived in the same house as their husband’s parents. Like Bhatti and Ballard, Berthoud and Beishon also saw some evidence of changes within the South Asian families i.e.: divorces, single parents and a fall in the number of children born to each family. They also found that young people today expect more say in their choice of partners than their parents did. Berthoud and Beishon concluded that although immigrants and their descendants have adapted their family life to fit British circumstances, but they have not fundamentally altered their traditional family relationships and are also maintaining distinct features of their cultures. Over the past few decades’ marriage has been becoming less popular. The marriage trend began as being unpopular, in 1951 15%of the women never married but by 1985 this number had decreased to only 5% of women not marrying. Since then the number of marriages per year has fallen to less than 300,000 P.A. Remarriages had also increased, as by 1990 over 30% of the marriages were remarriages for at least one partner. In support of that, the average age at marriage has also increased significantly in four years: from 25.6 in 1961 for men to 30.8 in 2001. And for women it rose from 23.1 in 1961 to 28.9 in 2003. Re-marriages becoming more popular led an increase in divorce and cohabitation. Of children born in 1946 6% experienced their parents divorce under the age of 16, this increased to 28% for the children being born in 1999. There have been many changes in the law regarding divorce, before 1857 a private act of parliament was required but since then the grounds of divorce have been extended and the process has been made easier and cheaper. The Family Law Act 1996-1999 was passed to try to make divorce more considered and less confrontational. 1993 was the peak year for divorce with 165,600 divorces occurring that year, after which the divorce rate started to decrease again and 2006 had similar divorce rate to those in 1977. Sociologist Michael Anderson suggested that the breakdown of marriage in the first 20years is similar now to what it was a hundred years ago, as the death rate was high a hundred years ago which meant that unhappy marriages ended ‘naturally’ (via death) whereas in the contemporary society the death rate is low but the divorce rate is high therefore unhappy marriages are ended via divorce. O. R. MacGregor agreed with Anderson’s theory by saying that divorce courts today have replaced undertakers in the past in ending unhappy marriages. Even in divorce rates there has been a change in position of women. Kurtz published a study called ‘For richer for poorer: mothers confront divorce’ (1995) in which Kurtz claimed that women have often been trapped in unhappy marriages as they are unable to support themselves financially, but economic independence changes this situation. 75% of women petitioned for divorce in 2000 compared to 37% in 1946. This was because women had fewer children therefore having more freedom and independence, and due to feminist rights women in paid labour lead to financial independence. As well as that women have also got higher expectations of their marriages today than they did in the past. The increase in the rate of divorce can also be debated by the loss of functions i.e.: fewer functions mean that fewer things within a marriage are holding people together. As the workload isn’t shared in an isolated nuclear family the marriage then becomes based on love, and once the love has gone there maybe little else holding the couple together. This suggests that extended families transforming into isolated nuclear families caused the loss of functions, which portrays that divorce is a consequence of industrialization. Industrialization also aided secularization, today only 2/3 of marriages are civil marriages. Gidden (1992) wrote a book ‘The transformation of intimacy’ in which he suggested that conjugal relationships go through a number of stages: in the past economic circumstances dictated marriage. By the 18th century romantic love ideology had developed which was based on mutual attraction and the fact that a women saves herself for marriage to her perfect man, but in reality led to oppression of women in the household. Lastly: plastic sexuality, i.e.: women behaving like men in sexual encounters, due to effective contraception. This leads to virginity no longer being prized in women and a new lifestyle, e.g.: confluent love. He concludes that people in the contemporary society are no longer stuck with traditional roles but have the freedom to choose and shape how they live, hence explaining divorce and diversity. Cohabitation between 1979-2001 of 18-49 year old couples increased form 11% to 32%, and in 2002 12% of men and 13% of women aged between 16-65 were cohabiting. A study in 2000 showed that the percentage of the population who believed pre-marital sex was not worth at all rose from 42% in 1984 to 62% in 2000. 67% thought it ok for a couple to live together, 56% thought it a good idea for a couple intending to marry to cohabit first. Nonetheless 59% thought that marriage was still the best option whereas 9% thought there was no point in marriage. All these factors suggest that the contemporary family is neither breaking down nor is it changing, it is merely adjusting and adapting itself to accommodate the contemporary and diverse society and culture. Hence also becoming diverse and flexible. The basic structure of the ideal family is still maintained, i.e.: parent or parents and children with majority of the time the relation of the parent and child being blood related cohabiting. On the other hand family isn’t an only based on blood relation any more but on affinity and co-residence
What are the advantages of Free Market Economy
ADVANTAGES MARKET ECONOMY In a free market economy, as the main motive profit and there is high competition so the firms will use those methods which are cost effective. Their efficiency at production will be high. Consumers will benefit from lower prices as the firms will use least cost method of production. If they don’t use this method the producers will be hiked out and eliminated out of the market because no one will buy from them. Customers would go to those who offer lowest price. Thus, something like perfect competition exists.There is a lot of variety in production in this economy. As there is no government intervention so there is no quota. Consumers have sovereignty and freedom of choices. No government intervention means no restriction and more chances of variety to all. More variety means more satisfaction to the people. Foreign goods can also be imported. There will be no shortages & surpluses in this kind of economy. Prices will be automatically stabilized and brought to equilibrium. Price mechanism causes in to act. It’s a very flexible market and has very quick response to market changes. For e.g. fashion industry. As consumers are sovereign and their demand changes, the faster the producer changes to the style adopted by their consumer then he will earn higher profits. Proactive producers are very successful. There is no wastage of resources. People are not especially hired to set prices, usage of resources is therefore efficient. In this type, the prices are set by price mechanism and there is no opportunity cost in terms of loss of production.Innovative and newer methods will be used. Since aim is to make profit. So latest technique and new methods of production are used which causes the production to rise . This will mean more profits. Although new techniques will be a little expensive than the ordinary one it will lead to massive increase in out put and therefore the average cost will be low.
Analyze how a human resource department can resolve the HR problems when a business is contracting in size.
The Human Resource Department is primarily responsible for instilling motivation in the labor workforce, making it use its full capabilities and potential in order to achieve their individual and organizational objectives. A business contracting in size due to reasons such as recession, technological advancement or fall in demand will have to take various steps to bounce back from the downsizing that is required. In either of the cases, the Human Resource department will require to conduct appraisal of the existing staff in order to compare their actual performance and targeted ones to judge which employee is worth keeping and who should be made redundant because of the above mentioned factors that are forcing a “labor layoff”. It will be equally important for the Human Resources Department to ensure that the retained staff does not become demotivated and faces a reversal in their hierarchy of need as even the most experienced and worthy employee may revert from the point of self-actualization to the point of security needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy due to job insecurity. Thus the Human Resource Department can opt for introducing Job Enrichment and/or Job satisfaction, providing the employees newer opportunities and tasks to work on, more complicated or of the same nature. Training could be given as well but only to limited workers that require it severely to manage their work, for instance of a person previously a part of the lower management now taking tactical decisions for the business. This promotion and training will keep the morale of the staff high and will help the business ensure that its valuable staff did not layoff, neither does it join its competitors, which could worsen the situation for the business. The business if facing fierce competition or falling demand both, can resort to hiring better employees in its Research and Development and Marketing Departments in order to introduce and instigate innovation and better products and their variants so that the business may be able to spread its risks over a wide product portfolio. For this, the Human Resource Department’s specialists will be required for recruiting such talented and skilled staff that could cater to the business need, as recruitment and selection are another role of the Human Resource Department. For this, the department will require to prepare a suitable Job Description and Person Specification, after careful Job Analysis so that the money the business spends on this expensive procedure pays off well. Also, the Human Resource Department may encourage the idea of quality circles where the employees discuss work-related issues that may include strategies to counter the downsizing. The employees can be further motivated to participate in these voluntary groups by rewarding the applicable ideas financially. This will help not only find a way to regain the business’ market share but will instill motivation., which is the primary purpose of the existence of the Human Resources Department, and will help establish Emotional Intelligence in the workforce as well. Furthermore, the Human Resources Department can also offer “golden handshake” to worthy employees which will help the business maintain its reputation in the society as the business contracting in size due to internal or external, both factors may become ill reputed. This will also help the business gain its worthy employees back if it manages to recover from the contraction and enters the growth phase once again. In case of contraction, the Human Resources Department can opt for performance-related pay or piece rate system to motivate the staff for producing more output if the labor productivity is falling. Thus, it can be concluded that the Human Resources Department needs to react to the challenge being faced by the business accordingly and it will require taking different steps in different circumstances.
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