Essay on The Changing Nature of Family Life

Essay on The Changing Nature of Family Life

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The Changing Nature of Family Life

The focus of this piece of coursework is the changing nature of family
life given the extent of fatherless families in modern Britain.
Functionalists such as parsons and Murdock will be researched, as well
as the views of Damos and Sapsfors to comment on the impact of
fatherless families. My interest in fatherless family stems from my
own personal family experience of having divorce parents and living in
one parent family headed by my mother. I have therefore developed the
hypothesis: The recent growth of fatherless families has lead to many
manifests dysfunctions of the family.

Context and concepts

George Murdock’s classic study provides the focus for my work; the
nuclear family performs four basic functions in all societies. Which
he turned the sexual, reproductive, economical and education. He
describes the family as a social group characterised by common
residence, economic co- operation and reproduction. It includes an
adult of each sex, who maintain a socially approves sexual
relationship and one or more children of the sexually cohabitating
adults. Therefore from this definition it is clear that ‘fatherless
families’ which exist in today’s society are not considered from a
functionalist perspective as normal. Harmonious stable families

Talcott Parsons argues that the concept of the ‘isolated nuclear
family’ describes structure that provides warmth, security and
support. He could conceive of no institution other than family that
could provide these services. According to Parsons the family retains
two basic functions which are common in all societies. These ...

... middle of paper ...

... is held in a mainly ‘white’ area of the Northern City which
is the focus of the research. Given this problem the findings will
lack generalisability.

The theoretical problems I could face are based on the positivitist
methodological option I choose to use. This option relies upon the
closed questions used in the questionnaires and can therefore lack
scope for the volunteers to express true feelings and record personal
experiences that would reveal insight in to their lives as single
parents. Finally interpretivist sociologists would suggest a major
problem with the research design which would be the detachment between
researcher and respondent. Given this ‘emotional distance’ it is
likely that the volunteers may choose not to reveal certain things
which could result in highly invalid data being collected.

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