Does the Nuclear Family Remain the Norm?

603 Words3 Pages
With Reference to Item A assess the view that the nuclear family remains the norm and the ideal (24 marks) Item A; In recent years, sociologists have drawn attention to the growth of family and household diversity in Britain and elsewhere, arguing that we have moved away from the previous norm od a conventional nuclear family composed of a heterosexual married couple and their children, with a gender division of labour. They point, for example, to the fact about one household in 10 is now headed by a lone parent as evidence of the declining popularity of the conventional nuclear family. However some sociologists argue that despite recent changes, the conventional nuclear family remains the norm in Britain today. Writing in 1985, Chester claimed that the basic patterns of family life had remained largely unchanged for most people since the 1940’s. He argued that most adults still marry and have children. Most children are reared by their natural parents. Most people live in a household headed by a married couple. Most marriages continue until parted by death. He concluded that no great change seems currently in prospect. Others, including new right and functionalist writers, see the conventional nuclear family as the most desirable or appropriate family type for modern society. Norm makes reference to a standard model or pattern regarded as typical. For example; the current middle class nuclear family normally consists of a heterosexual married couple that have two children together. Some sociologists believe that society is not too diverse to have one type of family. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in divorce rates, more remarriages and more births outside of marriage which has caused a large decrease in the number of nuclear families. There are now more reconstructed families, cohabitating families, same sex families and lone parent families.
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