Nuclear Family Essay

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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…show more content…
Feminist theories explain that family life is generally based on the notion of patriarchy, with women being oppressed and denied values and rights (McKie and Callan, 2012). Feminist sociologists refer to ‘dominant ideologies’ as a way of describing those in authority or more powerful positions, within society, that can produce a set of ideas that are adopted by those in less powerful positions (Steel, Kidd and brown, 2012). This is evident in how the nuclear family is structured, as the societal norm, people strive to meet this pattern of family life (McKie and Callan, 2012). Feminist theories explain the nuclear family is based on male power and reinforcing female oppression, as the family is seen as the core institution in exercising gender inequality through primary socialisation (Steel, Kidd and Brown, 2012). Therefore, feminist theories would explain the decline in the nuclear family as women fighting against the patriarchal order not only within the family, but within society as a whole (Allan and Crow, 2001). Women are no longer standing for the oppression within marriages and due to the increase in women’s rights and more women in the workplace, many women choose not to marry or will look for options such as divorce or cohabiting before settling for marriage (Chambers,
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