Assess Sociological Explanations of the Nature and Extent of Family Diversity Today. Essay

2249 WordsFeb 17, 20159 Pages
Assess sociological explanations of the nature and extent of family diversity today. Family diversity is the idea that there are a range of different family types, rather than a single dominant one like the nuclear family. It is associated with the post-modernists idea that in today’s society increasing choice about relationships is creating greater family diversity. The modernist view sees society as having a fairly fixed, predictable structure. The modernists see the nuclear family as being the best as it performs certain essential functions. Talcott Parsons saw that the nuclear family as uniquely suited to meet the needs of modern society for a geographical and socially mobile work force. Also Parsons saw that the family performed two ‘irreducible functions’- the primary socialisation of the young and the stabilisation of adult personalities. These functions contribute to the overall stability and effectiveness of society. The New Right has an anti-feminist and conservative view on the family; they are firmly opposed to diversity within family life. The New Right sociologists hold the view that there is only one normal family type; this is the traditional patriarchal nuclear family consisting of a married couple and their dependent children. The New Right sees this family type as being natural based upon the fundamental biological differences between men and women. These sociologists would argue that family diversity is the cause of many social problems, such as education failure and high crime rates. The New Right believes that lone-parent families are both unnatural and harmful, especially to the children. They argue that lone mothers cannot discipline their children in the correct manner and that they are a burden on the welfare state. The New rights also believe that mothers should not go out to work as they should take on the expressive
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