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

Outline and discuss the view that there now exists a range of family types in contemporary society

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Sociology Richard / Mr Chacha Emma Rudd BMA 29th January Sociology Essay ? Diversity within the Family ?Outline and discuss the view that there now exists a range of family types in contemporary society? There are many different types and definitions of the family. It is suggested that a family is a group of people related usually through blood, marriage or other legal ties (i.e. adoption) but this is not always the case. It is a group of people who support each other and at some point in their lives tend to have lived in the same household. Sociologists do not agree on a definition of the family, although definitions can usually be split into two categories exclusive and inclusive definitions. Exclusive definitions focus on the specific relationships within the unit e.g. marriage. Where as inclusive definitions focus on the functions of the unit e.g. supporting one another. What is seen as an ideal family structure has changed over time, to match social change and a change in people?s attitudes. Different family types consist of the extended family, the nuclear family, single parent families, and reconstituted families. ...read more.


Over the same time period for unmarried men under the age of 60 it has gone from 11% to 26%. Although it has been argued that for most people cohabitation is apart of the marriage process and is not a substitute. Cohabiting has now become more socially acceptable so people can live together without ever getting married and it is also considered ok to raise children in this arrangement. The New Right criticise cohabitation by saying that it is less stable than a marriage and therefore not the ideal arrangement for a family institution. Not only have cohabitation households increased, so have single person households. One reason behind the increase may be due to the increase in divorce rates and the fact that people are choosing to get married later in life. Peter Stein interviewed single individuals in the age range of 25-45. They recognised that being single allowed them to concentrate on their career and its opportunities and promoted overall freedom and independence. Although they occasionally felt isolated and lonely. Reconstituted families / step-families have also increased; this may also be a result of increasing divorce rates. ...read more.


70% of single mothers live in rented accommodation, which is likely to be in unpopular areas, and 40% of homeless people living in bed and breakfasts are single mothers. New Right thinkers disapprove of single parent families and they link children?s educational underachievement and delinquency to them being a part of a single parent family. The New Right have been criticised as they tend to ignore factors such as domestic violence in relationships and also the fact that most single parent families raise their children successfully. Feminists sociologists argue that the real problem comes from the nuclear family itself, they state that this leads to the negative labelling of one-parent families from teachers, social workers, housing departments, and police. It is argued that single parents / families may be being used as scapegoats for inner-city crime and educational underachievement which are actually the result of factors such as unemployment and poverty. There are many different types of family structures and they are constantly changing, some may believe one type is better than another but there is no evidence that proves entirely that there is a particular family type that is better. Each structure / type has its advantages and disadvantages. ...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. How cultural deprivation affects the educational attainment of students.

    [ ] I don't know [ ] I did not attend target setting day [ ] Questionnaire Please can you fill out the questionnaire below to give data towards a sociological investigation into the effect of cultural deprivation on educational attainment.

  2. Outline and discuss the view that the nuclear family is the ideal family

    Other views against the nuclear family being the ideal family is that single mothers and homosexuals are portrayed as dangerous to normal society in the perspective of the New Right. Many conservative polices have harmed the family, rather than helped them e.g.

  1. GCSE Sociology Coursework

    From this, I can easily mark the different types of behaviour that might occur and by which sex. My aim is to observe the core subjects: English, Maths and Science. I believe they will contain equal amounts of males and females; they will not be biased towards one sex.

  2. Is the nuclear family in decline?

    Today, so the claim goes, this is no longer possible. We cannot even say what constitutes ?family? today. The above could be seen as family being characterised by choice, freedom, diversity, ambivalence and fluidity, and it means family relationships are undecided and we can only expect individual responses to problems solved within or without the family (general one file).

  1. The Family: Contemporary Issues and Debates.

    He would often have little or no involvement in the care of his children. In middle and upper class families, children might see relatively little of their parents, often being sent off to boarding schools or being looked after by nannies or au pairs?.

  2. Assess the extent to which the traditional nuclear family is the norm in contemporary ...

    Instead, he uses the concept of the neo-conventional family, to describe how the nuclear family has adapted to meet the changing demands of society, including more integrated gender roles as more women enter the labour market. Chester is keen to point out that despite other family forms, most people live in a household headed by a married couple.

  1. Sociology Family Unit - Family Concepts and Definitions

    Although it is now more widely accepted that there may be some overlap between these roles and consequently men are doing more childcare and housework than in the past. Nevertheless, the belief that the main responsibility for parenting lies with mothers is still very powerful.

  2. According to the functionalist sociologist the family is key institution of society, as it ...

    It uses the rise in gay and lesbian headed families, lone parent families, fatherless families, divorce rates and cohabitation rather than marriage, as evidence that the nuclear family is declining in Britain therefore they argue for a return to traditional family values as a remedy for many of the problem

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