Examining the View that the Traditional Nuclear Family is in Decline

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Examining the View that the Traditional Nuclear Family is in Decline When evaluating the view that the traditional nuclear family (of two opposite sex married parents living in a household that contains only them and their own dependant children), is in decline, I will be taking various pieces of research and evidence from Sociologists, Journalists and other sources, into consideration in order to try to determine how true this view is. The nuclear family would appear to be found internationally and would be described as ‘universal’ by Murdock, varying in popularity from country to country, however I will be concentrating mainly in the UK. The idea that the ‘traditional’ nuclear family is in decline is not new. Journalists, columnists and sociologists have been researching this theory for many years now and it would seem that most agree with the hypothesis. Most sociologists agree that the nuclear family first became popular in the United Kingdom in the 1950 - 1960’s after World War 2, although it existed from approximately the 18th Century. It originally occurred in upper-class families that could afford to live in this way and then eventually filtered down to the middle-classes and finally became popular amongst most classes in the twentieth century. Functionalists would argue that the Nuclear Family started to become more popular due to the growth of Industrialisation. This led to more families leaving the rural areas and extended families that they originated from and setting up home in cities and towns in order to find work. This view claims that the family ceased to be a unit of production and instead became a modern unit – ... ... middle of paper ... ...s: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life’ January 2003, p.20 Haralambos and Holborn (2004), Sociology Themes and Perspectives, Sixth Edition, London: HarperCollins Publishers Iley, C (1994) ‘ Decline and fall of the nuclear family’ Sunday Times, Sunday June 19th 1994, p.9 Linden, M (2002) ‘Agenda 2002: More choose to go it alone’ Financial Times, Thursday November 28th 2002, p. NA Madeley, G (2004) ‘Home truths on decline of the two parent family’ Daily Mail, Saturday April 24th 2004, p.34 Home Office Statistical Bulletin [http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs04/hosb1204.pdf] Accessed 15/11/04 Joseph Rowntree Foundation [http://www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/spr938.asp] Accessed 16/11/04 National Statistics Online [http://www.statistics.gov.uk] Accessed 16/11/04

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