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

Analyse how the family structure has changed over the last 100 years

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐RESEARCH PROJECT Analyse how the family structure has changed over the last 100 years. The family structure over the last 100 years has changed dramatically in the UK. Societies more relaxed attitudes towards marriage means it is no longer seen as unusual to be involved in a complicated family structure. For example a Reconstituted family, This is when one or both parents have been married before and had children and have remarried to form a new family structure also known as a step family. Families are no longer just nuclear families, this is a family made up of married parents living with their children. Families now have more complicated structures compared to the debateable desired structure; the nuclear family. Other family structures include cohabiting parents, single parent families, same sex parent families and extended families etc. The last 100 years have seen changes in legislation, technology, attitudes and expectations these are all factors that have led to many new trends, three being; the growing number of new types of family structures, more females in highly respected and paid jobs and an increase in divorce rates. It is known that 40% of all marriages now end in divorce. There are many possible causes for this trend, one being the (1949) legal aid act and the (1969) divorce law reform act which made divorce proceedings easier. Another cause could be secularisation and the declining stigma and changing of societies attitudes towards divorce as more people had more flexible views towards divorcee's as attitudes towards traditional values have changed. For example the idea of the woman having to fullfil a triple shift everyday, this is when the women goes out to work to provide financial support for their family then come ...read more.

Middle

There are now approximately 1.75 million lone parent families in Britain. Consequently more and more children are now growing up in single parent families despite stigma associated with this. Single parent families make up 24% of all family types. There could be many reasons for this growing trend. one being the increase in divorce and the impact of feminism as 90% of single parent families are headed by women, this could be because women are becoming more financially independant and stable and are finding that they dont need men in their lives for support. the trend could also be because women now have more oppurtunities to become highly respected and paid more in careers and therefore are choosing to dedicate their lives to a career instead of a marriage and then later on in life have a baby on their own. Another cause could be the decline in stigma attached to births outside of marriage because this will enable women to give birth to a baby creating a single parent family without being rejected by society. 4 in every 10 children are born outside of marriage. Some sociologists suggest that the welfare state encourages 'irresponsible behaviour' like this as the system funds single parents however 4 in every 10 children being born outside of marriage could just be because people are finding a marriage certificate less important and are just having children before they get married because these people will be a big part of these statistics. On the other hand just because some women are choosing to have children alone does not mean that this is all single parents intentions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Government policies usually favour the family structures they prefer and create a stigma to the structures that they dislike for example Thatcher created this idea that women working leads to 'latch key' children which is clearly ridiculous but peoples judgements were influenced by this. Murphy (2006) showed that households in 1971 consisted of 11,249 married couple and only 9,409 in 2006 and estimated that their would be 8,834 in 2026. compared to 341 lone parent house holds in 1971, 1642 in 2006 and predicted that their will be 1876 in 2016. this shows the intense difference over the period of 35 years and the prediction for the next 20 years and considering its 2012, Murphys statistics seem to be going in the right direction but until 2026 nobody will know how accurate his predictions were. There are many factors effecting the change of family structure over the last 100 years but none single handedly created all the new family structures that there are today. For example, same sex families are negatively frowned apon by many corners of society. The New Right show great concerne about same sex civil partnerships, adoption, IVF, Surrogacy. And some commentators go so far to say that it is unnatural and will have a negative effect on children. So why is there an increase? what are the causes of the increase? Dunne found that children brought up in same sex families had less narrow views and found equality important in any relationship, and also found that these families produced more tolerant children. So why is it negatively labelled? This shows that every structure has negatives and positives and that no sociologist can single handedly prove which family structure is best in all specific cases, all specific countries and cultures. family is an individuals choice. ...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 Family & Marriage 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 Family & Marriage essays

  1. Sociology The Family

    All three theories are structural (macro) theories as they see family in relation to the wider social context and describe the family as an institution which helps to maintain established social values. All three theories also show similarities in how the family has been developed over time from pre-industrial societies to modern industrial societies.

  2. Examine the effects of industrialization on the structure of the family

    Stage two was the early industrial stage from the 1750 to around the 1900's. this was the point when industrialisation had stared coming into society, work and home became separated work to place in factories now. Women and children became dependent on the men's wages due to the factory act that excluded women and children from paid work.

  1. Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, co-habitation and divorce rate ...

    However second marriage is seems very popular. Remarriage's largest increase occurred between 1971 and 1972 following the introductions of the Divorce Reform Act of 1969. Despite the fact, Cohabitation before marriage has now become the norm. For 1st marriages in the 1950s the figure was less than 2% by 1996 it was 77%.

  2. How cultural deprivation affects the educational attainment of students.

    Secondly, family structure and family process will shape the students capabilities and opportunities. This was also suggested by (Schoon et al 2003). Thirdly, the students role and educational attainment will then shape present and future pathways. African-Caribbean students may be disadvantages and continue to be for many generations.

  1. Is the nuclear family in decline?

    The family appears to be seen more problematic than it was in past times. In looking further, George Peter Murdock carried out a study entitled social structure (1949) where he examined the institution of the family in a wide range of society .Murdock took a sample of 250 societies ranging from small hunting and gathering bands to large-industrial societies.

  2. Sociology Research Paper - To examine how teenage pregnancy affects the teen mothers health ...

    Low-birthweight babies are more likely to have organs that are not fully developed, which can result in complications, such as bleeding in the brain, respiratory distress syndrome, and intestinal Teenage mothers have a higher rate of poor eating habits than older women and are less likely to take recommended daily prenatal multivitamins to maintain adequate nutrition during pregnancy.

  1. Examine the reasons for the changes in the patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce ...

    a contract to be broken, so divorce becomes more acceptable, and more people feel able to end a relationship in which they are not happy. Since the second wave of feminism started in the 1960s, feminist views have been increasingly impacting our society?s values, and the patterns of family life.

  2. Sociology and the Family

    The declination of the nuclear family in postmodern Britain could be attributed to cohabitation, marriage delay and marriage breakdown. Only 54.2% of people were married in 2009, a steep decrease since 1970 when as many as 85% of opposite sex adults wed (?The UK Marriage Index,? 2009).

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