The focus of this chapter is the social analysis of the phenomenon called the ‘underclass family’ which, in the context of this discussion, means family forms and patterns of family life which are perceived to be highly deviant, particularly by the opinion formers in politics and the social services. Associated with the use of the label of ‘deviant’ for patterns of family life which are not built around marriage, there has been the expression of social anxiety, mainly through popular journalism, that the very institution of ‘the family’ is under threat in some communities and that the socialisation role of the family is failing, especially among some sectors of the welfare-dependent poor.
KeywordsFamily Structure Family Life Social Control Family Type Economic Restructuring
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