In this essay few topics are covered. They are including perception of the family, different types of family and various sociological concepts of the family in relation to the significant changes in structure of this part of society taken place in the UK since 1950s.
First of all, there is a need to explain the difference between household and family and give the definition of the family from the sociological point of view. According to Braun (2011), a household is either one person or a group of people who live at the same address and share living dispositions. They could be blood or marriage related, either not. A family is the type of household where people are blood or marriage-related. As Murdock (1949) states members of family are connected by economic cooperation, common accommodation and reproduction.
The types of family are represented by relative diversity. Most traditional for all cultures is nuclear family which is a unit of male breadwinner and female housekeeper to create new generation and spend life together. Nuclear families are including two generations of members (parents and children) living in the same household (http://www.sociology.org.uk/).
The functionalists sociologists are considering family the base part of the social structure because family carrying four essential functions:
Socialising of the new generation. Without family (or unit replacing family) children would not know how to behave in society.
Family is a ground substructure of economics. Adult members of the family will produce and share out goods a...
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...eed of further changes to equalise genders rights and opportunities. By their opinion, socialization of children in nuclear families is gender over orientated.
From Marxists sociologists’ point of view nuclear family is unit of society which is reproducing the labour power that maintains capitalism. Also this type of family supports unequal class system as proposed by Marx (1867).
In conclusion, 2007 BBC poll suggests that ‘despite all the changes, we remain remarkable happy with family life – 93 % of us describing it as fairly or very happy’ (Mark Easton, BBC home editor, BBC News, 5 November 2007). In similar poll conducted 40 years previously far fewer people were satisfied with their family life. Results of these polls are challenging the traditional academic view on connection of looser families with unhappiness and, perhaps, this subject needs further research.
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