Is the Family in Decline

Is the Family in Decline

Keywords is the nuclear family in decline

Introduction history of the family

Most peoples idea of a normal household is a married couple with children Does this longer correspond with the reality of peoples lives In 2005 only 22 per cent of British households consisted of a couple with dependant children compared with 35 per cent in 1971 Fulcher J Scott J 2004 pg 446

Over several decades Britain and other Western societies have seen a shift in family patterns and diverse roles also divorce rate have risen significantly and there has been an increase in Reconstituted families formed from second marriages

The family is often regarded as the basis of society in premodern and modern societies alike is seen as the basis in which social organization takes place for example socialising children in the 1960s there was not discussion about the importance of family at that family life was merely evolving with the modern times the nuclear family which consist of a two generation household of parent and their children was seen as well adapted to the demands of modern society A classic definition of the family by George Peter Murdock 1949 The family is a social group characterized by common residence economic cooperation and reproduction This includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a sociallyapproved sexual relationships and one or more children own or adopted of the sexually cohabiting adults

Another type of family is the extended family which includes the family members which extends vertically that would include three generations for example grandparent and grandchildren it also extends horizontally to include at least in laws cousins aunts and uncles and dependant on the perceptions and the boundaries of the family determines how far this extends

From a functional perspective the family purpose is to work as a social institute and according to Haralambos Holborn 2008 the family performs four basic functions in all societies which are termed the sexual reproductive economic and educational these are deemed essential for social life because without reproduction there would be no members of society also without economics there would no provisions for providing food and therefore life would cease to exist and without education as suggested by George Murdock there would be no culture and he suggests therefore that human society could not function

However according to Parson in Parsons Bales 1956 the family social institution developed to meet two such needs that the family and only the family met the needs for primary socialization and personality stabilization Primary socialisation was the process through which children obtain the basic values of society from the family from an early age

And adult personality is stabilized through the family to give emotional support through marriage and to create an opportunity for adults to satisfy childish impulses that they could not do in public for example playing games with their children

Parsons suggested that the nuclear family was particularly suited the nuclear family because the nuclear family roles were specialized due to one adult earning money through paid work and the other adult bringing up the children therefore with there being one breadwinner this was quite important factor in the industrial society due to high rates of change this meant that this type of family were more geographically mobile and they would also keep the world of work and family separate as industrial societies were concerned with achievement and universalism this meant that people were rewarded according to achievements and judged according to universal standards of qualifications and competence the family however operated on a opposite basis where the values of ascription and particularism thus status was ascribed on who one was for example husband of wife of parents would do their best to advance their children therefore if this overlapped into the workforce this cau

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