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

Assess the claim that the nuclear family as a dominant form of family structure has been replaced by a wide variety of types of families

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the claim that 'the nuclear family as a dominant form of family structure has been replaced by a wide variety of types of families'. The 'nuclear family' has been described to be a family in which there are two parents in a heterosexual relationship with their biological children, some sociological perspectives would view the nuclear family as the best type such as Functionalism and the New Right. Between 1961 and 1998 the percentage of households qualifying as nuclear families had fallen from 38% to 23%. There have been rises in other types of family such as gay and lesbian families, lone parent families and reconstituted families. Other types of family have become more accepted in recent years, this trend is likely to increase over the next generations. This assignment will explore the nuclear family as a dominant form of family structure, the variety of types of family and whether the nuclear family has been replaced, by these by using case studies and theories. The Rapoports, The New Right and Postmodernism all believe that the nuclear family has been replaced by a wide variety of other family types, whereas on the other hand Jennifer Sommerville and Robert Chester will argue against this claim. ...read more.

Middle

New Right supporters would argue that it is because of the replacement of the nuclear family by wider family types that, in their view, society is failing. They believe that other types are unnatural and have lead to family decline and social problems such as the lack of male role models has lead to a dependency on the welfare state and higher crime rates. As the New Right see the nuclear family as the best family form they view diversity as a crisis. The New Right answer to the crisis of diversity is to cut benefits and enforce responsibility on parents to attempt to reinforce the position of the traditional family. The simple basic views and beliefs of the New Right show that they do believe that the nuclear family has been replaced and it is because of this that society is failing. Further research appears to confirm diversity in the family. Twenty-five percent of all households comprise of people living alone. Of all households, twenty-seven percent are married people without children. In working class communities, dispersed extended family arrangements still exist, which are kept together by modern communications such as the Internet and phone. ...read more.

Conclusion

Robert Chester [1985] denies that the nuclear family has been replaced by other family types and places more emphasis on the idea of the 'neo-conventional family' which is a traditional family however the women of the family work as well as the men. He believed that the majority of people still lived in nuclear families however life cycles often result in people not living in traditonal family units. He argues it is misleading to simply use 'snapshot' statistical figures relating to the composition of family structures at any given moment, simply because people's lives are much more changeable in modern societies which, in effect, means they are likely to experience a diverse range of family experiences. Most of which will, in some form or another, involve living in a nuclear-type arrangement or, possibly more notably, wanting to live in that type of arrangement should the chance to do so be available. He therefore argues that the nuclear family has not been replaced by diversity in family types. Jennifer Sommerville would agree with Chester in arguing that the decline of the traditional nuclear family has been exaggerated and had not been replaced, as there is substantial evidence that the nuclear family still exists and that the majority of the population still live within it. ...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 Work & Leisure 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 Work & Leisure essays

  1. Views on Human Nature and the Division of Labour

    The influence of the modern industry forces the proletarians to work with machinery, "[obliterating] all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces the wages to the same low level" (454). To the bourgeois, the poor labourers "who must sell themselves piece-meal, are a commodity" (452).

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

    Previous generations have frowned upon divorce but now the majority of the population are more accepting of the reasons for divorce if not divorce itself. Whilst divorce is acceptable amongst that majority there is a minority that still finds it abhorrent.

  1. Functions of the family for individuals and for society

    These consist of capitalism education, politics and laws. The negative side of the Marxist theory is that; they rely on the stereotypical generalisation of the nuclear family, however, nowadays more family types exist. These are: extended, reconstituted, single-parent and single-sex relationships.

  2. Religion can both be a conservative force and an initiator of social change. To ...

    Weber argues that a certain type of Protestantism - ascetic Calvinist Protestantism preceded the development of capitalism and developed mainly in areas where this religion was influential. Weber distinguished a correlation between Calvinism and capitalism by comparing religion and economic development in different parts of the world.

  1. Find out what subjects girls study more in higher education as well as for ...

    (This pilot study will be included in the evidence section of my coursework) In this pilot study I discovered many errors and was not able to conduct interviews or carry out an appropriate sampling method. The data should be reliable and valid because I used a very large sample and a variety of samples.

  2. a) With reference to the Items and elsewhere, assess the view that the introduction ...

    The teachers' judgements are a large factor in underachievement in schools but it is not fully responsible. There a number of factors that can influence how a pupil achieves such as gender, class, race and most importantly it is down to the individual to decide how hard they work, how

  1. The recent rise in support for NRMS comes mainly from an increased desire to ...

    This evidence suggests that some individuals may join world-rejecting groups, as they are unhappy with the world that they live in and therefore turn towards a group that rejects the world, regarding it as "evil". On the other hand, world-affirming groups accept the world as it is and are not particularly critical of other religions.

  2. SOCIAL CLASS DIVISION

    The research of Gewirtz, Ball and Bowe (1995) supports some elements of cultural capital theory in that they found that middle-class parents possessed more cultural capital than working-class parents in terms of knowledge about recent reforms in education and parental choice.

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