The Family and Industrialisation

Quizlet ( is a free resource that can be used by both teachers and students to create flash cards, quizzes and other study aids to help with learning.

Here is a set that has been shared by a member on the topic of family and industrialisation. Students can access these, print them off onto index cards and/or create their own for this and other topic areas:

Discover More Flash Cards: Family and Social Change following Industrialisation

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Many teachers begin delivering this topic with an assumption that students will know what ‘industrialisation’ is. Given the changes to the History curriculum in the UK, it’s worth spending some time finding out what your students do know and work from there (before starting any of the ‘actual’ Sociology!)

Simple starter questions like, “When was the Industrial Revolution” may leave you a little worried about gaps in knowledge but it’s good to build a secure foundation with the students as they’ll be able to hang so much of their learning on this.

This Guardian Teacher Network article considers a range of strategies teaching industrialisation with classes. These range from drawing on Dicken’s “Hard Times” to looking at the London Olympics opening ceremony featuring grey chimney stacks speckled across the rolling countryside:

Discover More How to teach... the industrial revolution

After spending some time learning this background content, ask students why they think that they are learning about industrialisation in their study of the family. Engaging them in this way should help drive their understanding of the topic.

Here’s a great summary of the family and industrialisation that has been mapped to AQA, OCR and Eduqas specifications

Discover More Industrialisation and the Family

After reading the outline and evaluation, students could consider the extent to which other family types are a ‘functional fit’ with the needs of wider society.

Au pairing and domestic labour

Ann Oakley’s website has a comprehensive yet succinct summary of the findings of her 1974 study into housework. Students could use the 11 points provided by Oakley here

Discover More From The Sociology of Housework (1947)

in a group activity to discuss and further summarise each point.

The class could then move onto to listen to Laurie Taylor’s BBC radio broadcast (Thinking Allowed) which, in the episode shared here, begins with Ann Oakley discussing the significance of this research and reflects on what has changed since the study was published.

The show then moves on to consider the role of au pairs within families. Rosie Cox joins Laurie Taylor to discuss her co-authored work that looks at the lives of au pairs in contemporary Britain, along with the families who host them. Cox asserts that au pairing has become indistinguishable from other forms of domestic labour.

Discover More Au pairing and domestic labour

Students could then conduct their own research into the experiences of au pairs, using the following news articles as idea generating texts:

BBC News – Au pair recruitment ‘like the Wild West’ says expert:

Discover More Au pair recruitment 'like the Wild West', says expert

The Telegraph - The truth about au pairs:

Discover More The truth about au pairs

Evening Standard - It’s all gone au-paired shape. What is life really like for London’s au pairs?

Discover More It’s gone au pair shaped: what is life really like for London’s au pairs?

Domestic burdens and the Corona Virus

In this article, Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network (a group that supports women in the workplace) states that, “Women are typically the chief healthcare officer, the chief entertainment officer and the chief education officer in their homes”. The article goes on to consider the extra workload – mental and physical – created by the pandemic and considers who is bearing the responsibility for this in families.

Discover More Women's domestic burden just got heavier with the coronavirus

Students could think about their own family arrangements during the crisis and the extent to which this corresponds with the sentiments in the article.


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