• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the view that the nuclear family did not exist in Britain before industrialisation.

Extracts from this document...


Examine the view that the nuclear family did not exist in Britain before industrialisation. In Britain a lot of important changes were made in society from industrialization. Less people were living in small villages as the population was growing and towns and cities grew as well. These changes in Britain had an impact on family life. It is usually assumed that the families in pre-industrial world were large and extended because the family was responsible for many functions and so, the family would need to be large. But in fact, they were not large; the average household held in England was 4.75 persons per household from about the late 16th century until the early 20th century. ...read more.


Peter Laslett studied the family size in pre-industrialised England between 1564 and 1821, and found that only 10% of households contained kin beyond the nuclear family. He provides evidence that indicates that the large extended family was relatively uncommon. Laslett suggests that the nuclear family household may have been characteristic of much of northwest Europe, though not other parts of Europe. He argues that this may have been an important factor encouraging the process of industrialisation. The prior existence of nuclear families with a greater capacity for geographical mobility may have facilitated the movement of workers to the urban areas, an important aspect of the industrial revolution. Michael Anderson studied the effects of industrialisation on families, arguing that extended families did not begin to disappear during industrialisation. ...read more.


Nuclear families can move to other places and are not tied down to their jobs. Also, children are more likely to achieve status by themselves and not follow in their parents occupations. Parsons believe that in pre-industrialized society, an extended family system carried out all the functions of the family because there were a lot of family members available to do the jobs. It is suggested that the nuclear family existed in Britain before industrialisation as life expectancy was short and only two generations lived at once. Both Lasett and Parsons believed that the family in the pre-industrial societies was mainly the extended family that existed. But after industrialization it is mainly the nuclear family that exists whereas Anderson believes that the extended family still is the main family that exists. Yogita Solanki ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Examine the effects of Industrialisation on the structure of the Family.

    Parsons believed that the separation of extended families caused nuclear families to be formed in order to take advantage of the new job opportunities that had been brought about. He also argued that the second fundamental change to the family was that they no longer needed to produce their own

  2. Assess the view that Industrialisation lead to the nuclear family replacing the extended family ...

    However, in industrial society this was no longer required. Parsons says also that status is now achieved by merit and ability, and not ascribed by the basis of family membership. This meant that now children had to create their own success they did not have to follow in their parent's footsteps.

  1. Does Realism as a statist Ideology exist today?

    international politics, and help explain the way states act and conduct themselves. Realist thinkers of the cold war would argue that this event illustrated that the "...two great powers, the United States and the Soviet Union constituted the bi-polar international system."4 However, a counter argument has been put forward by

  2. Has The Extended Family Been Replaced By The Isolated Nuclear Family?

    The isolated nuclear family was best suited to the need for this geographical mobility as it has no obligations to kin unlike the extended family .It is this isolated nuclear family that is dominant today according to Parsons. Concurring with Talcott Parsons is William J.

  1. Is the Nuclear Family a universal social unit?

    May people now want to pursue a successful career over having children, without children it is easier to move about and it makes it easier to relocate so people are choosing not to have them.

  2. Should Britain eliminate its nuclear arsenal?

    In contrast peacemakers view anarchy as not to be analysed but overcome (Karp, 1992, pg5). It is strikingly obvious that there are a myriad of incentives for Britain to adhere to abolition, most notably because for the appalling devastation nuclear weapons can potentially create.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work