Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm. (24 marks) In this essay I will be assessing the view of different sociologists concerning the question ‘is the nuclear family no longer the norm?’, from this essay I should be able to conclude if it is in fact still the norm or not. First of all, in 1969 the Divorce Reform Act was put into place which enabled people to get a divorce easily compared to before. With this law people could simply say that the marriage wasn’t working out and straight away they could get a divorce, this had an impact on both family structure and society. After this law there was an increase in lone parent families, cohabiting and even same sex couples, this was because it started to be more socially acceptable and married couples didn’t have to be forced into a relationship if they weren’t happy.
According to rapoport, the nuclear family is no longer regarded as the ideal family structurea and more people are opting for other different types of family structures. These differences in the family structures tend to increase at high rates. In britain in 2001, a wage earning husband and a non-working wife at home with two dependant children accounted for a mere 8% of all men in paid employment. This proves that the traditional nuclear family is also decreasing in number through statistics provided by the govt. More recent research by rhona(1989) confirms the earlier research.
The New Right believe that state benefits should be cut and social policy targeted to discourage family diversity and promote marriage and the nuclear family. Robert Chester (1985) recognises that there has been some increased family diversity in recent years. However, unlike the New Right he does not regard this as very significant, nor does he see it in a negative light. He argues that the only important change is a more from the dominance of the traditional or conventional nuclear family, to what he
How far do sources 1, 2 and 3 suggest that the British people in the 1950’s ‘never had it so good’? The quote of ‘Never had it so good’ came from the British Prime Minister Macmillan. This was a risky thing to say as it could have been good or bad depending on how the population took it. The people could have thought that he knew nothing and could have voted against him, however the public believed him and took his word. I will be looking at sources to see if this was true.
February 13th, 2013 Samantha Hauca Overgrowth or Undergrowth? Recently, it has become widely accepted that our earth is becoming over populated. Countries have been trying to keep their birth rates down with their one-child policy. In the essay, “Health Canada Inadvertently Discloses Facts Planned Parenthood Would Like to Suppress”, Ted Byfield tries to persuade the audience that the world is actually in a serious population decline rather than population explosion, like the government is trying to convince us. Regrettably, Byfield doesn’t give a sturdy case, and with misled facts and statistics, it’s hard to be influenced.
Society has to realize that the modern family has developed into many different forms in recent years in that the traditional "nuclear family" is not necessarily the most common form anymore. Thus, gay and lesbians should not be judged by their sexual orientation to determine their abilities as a parent. There is no valid reason for refusing to call lesbian and gay headed households “families.” They fall under every conceivable criterion for identifying families and the concept of a family. They are groups of co-resident family providing jointly through income pooling for each other's need of food and shelter. They socialize children, engage in emotional and physical support, and make up part of a larger family system.
The virtues of the nuclear family can no longer be successfully applied to the wide diversity of household arrangements seen today. Instead, the authors suggest that the people should resist nostalgic “retrofitting” and focus on making adaptive modifications to the present social circumstances. Looking into the nuclear families of the 1950’s era, the essayists explain why the past is so appealing to Americans now. They relate the peoples desire to return to the “good ole days” largely to the prosperity the country experienced at the time: industrialization expanded, real wages increased, and personal savings reached an all time high. In the essay they say, “Critics contend that by emphasizing the “private” values of the individual and the family, the nuclear unit intensified individualism and weakened civic altruism,” (186).
They say that family is vital for 4 things in society: the regulation of sexual activity, reproducing and raising children, educating or socialising society’s way of life to the younger members and being an economic unit with clear divisions of labour between genders. With the decline in the nuclear family, they will believe that these four functions will diminish and society will not function in an adequate way. Where liberal feminists would not be happy about the decline in nuclear families as they believe that increasing equality exists between men and women, radical and Marxist feminists would think that it is a good thing. Radical feminists argue that men benefit much greater than women within the family environment. They say that gender roles which are allocated within a family are accepted by the women, which then goes on to disadvantage them in later life when it comes to things such as employment.
The New Right argue that the decline of the traditional nuclear family and the growth of family diversity are the cause of many social problems, such as higher crime rates and educational failure. They see lone-parent families as both unnatural and harmful, especially to children and they disapprove of mothers going out to work because they believe women should make caring for their family their first priority. Harry Benson’s (2006) analysis of data on the parents of over 15,000 babies born in 2000-01 found that nearly 3,000 of the mothers had become lone parents during the first three years of their child’s life. Robert Chester, also a New Right sociologist, recognises that there is a modern type of nuclear family called the ‘neo-conventional family’. He defines this family type as a dual-earner family in which both spouses go out to work.
2. Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm. * People entering higher education; becoming more independent from parental control, causing a rise in cohabitation. * Changing position of women, allowed to divorce, producing lone and diverse families * Laws changed; civil partnership legal, hence same sex families developing. * Laws such as Child support agency, reinforce nuclear families; men paying for child.