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Industrialisation and the family

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What has been the effect of industrialisation on the family? Industrialisation took place in the late 18th century and early 19th century, but in Britain industrial revolution began in 1750. It brought many important changes to the world societies. A manual labour world economy changed into a machine based economy this also led to urbanisation, as population became concentrated in large urban areas rather than small villages. Eventually every aspect of daily life was influenced because of industrialisation. Functionalists believe that kinship systems are means to procreation and socialisation. Parsons (1951) suggested that the impact of industrialisation led to multifunctional extended families transforming to isolated nuclear families due to separation of the functions being performed by the family. This was because the government reduced or took over certain functions thus reducing the need for a wider kinship network. Essential functions were retained in the nuclear family and improved in quality, these included: provision of a home, stable satisfaction of sex needs and production and rearing of children. Whereas the non-essential functions (structural differentiation) such as: economics, education, health, governmental, religion and recreational were transferred to specialised organisation. For instance: the educational system and employer rather than the family performs job training. ...read more.


He looked at the census of 1851, which showed that 23% of the families were extended families; this is twice as much as Lasletts study. Anderson studied the family in particular rather than as general. He saw the family as victims of industrialisation as they had to deal with "slump" times via mutual aid, which mainly occurred within women. This caused families to spilt up during the slumps and to form extended kin during the "booms" as no mutual aid was required. Roberts (1984) published a book: A Woman's Place: An oral history of working class women 1890-1940 in which she used interviewing methods. Like Anderson she also found strong kinship ties among working class families but she argued that as well as kin, close female neighbours and friends also provide support. She also debated Anderson's theory of kin relationships being based on mutual aid i.e.: self-interest. Instead she points out that kin ties tend to be emotional, they were based on love and duty and little was expected in return. Janet Finch (1989) attempted to explain the differentiation between Anderson and Roberts studies in her book Family obligations and Social Change. She says that: they both used different time periods, the later period i.e.: Roberts study was conducted in a less harsh time period therefore there might be more support provided from those others than kin. ...read more.


14% of the children lived with a stepparent and 14%lived with only one parent. Whereas in 1950's 78% of the women were married and only 1% were divorced. Willmott conducted a later study in 1988, which he published as Urban Kinship. Past and present. He developed the idea of a dispersed extended families, this consists of related families staying in regular contact via: phone, cars, and other means of public transport despite living some distance apart. He concluded his study by saying "in modern Britain although kinship is largely chosen, it not only survives but most of the time it flourishes." Another sociologist, Brannen aggress with Willmott in her book The Age of Beanpole families (2003). She also believes in the continuing importance of kin contacts and support, but she emphasises the key role of grandparents and intergenerational link while the horizontal links become weaker. Sociologists oppose the historians' definition of extended family and pursue their own definition, i.e.: that kin doesn't necessarily have to share a common residence in order to be referred as extended family. They believe that kin living in nearby residence is in fact known as extended family, given that they stay in regular contact. On the other hand they agree with functionalists in saying that industrialisation led to extended families transforming to nuclear families, but they disagree with the theory that it caused the nuclear family to be completely isolated. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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