Essay on The Decline Of The Nuclear Family And The Types Of Family

Essay on The Decline Of The Nuclear Family And The Types Of Family

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Recent changes within society have caused an increase in different formations of families that have been described as ‘families in flux’ (Giddens, 1992). A family is a group of people who are related by kinship ties, such as, relations of blood, marriage, adoption or a cohabiting couple (Allan and Crow, 2001). However, due to the ongoing changes within families and society, there are conflicting opinions of the best way to reflect the diverse forms that this human social grouping can take (McKie and Callan, 2012). This essay will discuss the recent changes that have occurred in relation to families, exploring gender and feminist theories to explain the extent to which people are choosing not to conform to traditional norms of family life (Allan and Crow, 2001). Firstly, this essay will look at the decline of the nuclear family and the types of family that are emerging in replace of it. Then it will focus on the increase in divorce rates and the increase in lone parent families. Finally, it will focus on why cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type and explore the causation in the changes of marriage, using gender and feminist theories as an explanation.

One of the biggest changes seen in relation to families is the decline in the dominant family structure defined by functionalist during the 1950s, as the nuclear family (Steel, Kidd and Brown, 2012). The nuclear family consisted of two heterosexual parents and their children, and was the dominant family structure that was seen as appropriate for carrying out vital functions for society and individuals (Ibid). Societal norms have reinforced that this is the ideal structure of a family, however, recent changes in marriage, divorce, childbearing and economics have ove...

... middle of paper ...

...ocialisation of young children (ref).

In conclusion, this essay shows that there have been significant changes in relation to the family in recent years. However, the notion of family is constantly changing and is still undergoing a significant amount of change in order to keep up with the changes happening within society as a whole. Despite the recent changes the extent to which the institution is still the socially approved place for the ongoing domination of women by men needs to be studied further (McKie and Callan, 2012). With an aging population and rising prices in the economy within the near future it is possible that there could be a gradual increase in the extended family, as people try to balance the financial costs of care of elderly relatives, but also with the growing increase of both parents working, therefore an increase in the need for child care.

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