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Sociology of education

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The Cereal packet family is the embodiment of the nuclear family, a happy couple sharing a bowl of cereal with their children as typically seen on a cereal packet, is the cereal packet family an accurate picture of the 'typical' modern family? For different reasons both Functionalists and Marxists have been accused of adding to the assumption has a more instrumental role, while his wife stays at home and has a more expressive role. Statistical evidence accumulated of the past 30 years begs to differ. The nuclear family has been in decline since its peak during the 70s. In 1971 52% of children lived in a nuclear family; in 2004 38% did. In 1971 only 8% of children lived in a lone-parent household; 27% in 2002. (Data extracted from Office for National Statistics, 2006a) An historical view of the family shows dramatic changes to the structure of the family and the different roles of marital spouses that have occurred through the ages. Young and Willmotts study on the 4 stages of the family showed the family has undergone three significant changes and how the division of labour within the family had changed. The first stage was the Pre-Industrial Family in which the husband was the head of the household and had economic control over family, and the ...read more.


He believed this because it is seen as valuable to the social order and economy. The father works whilst the mother provides emotional support and also cares for the family although feminists will see this as sexiest but in most nuclear families, these harmonizing roles where applied. The UK has one of the highest percentages of single parent families in Europe with a quarter of children now living with a single parent. "Between 1972 and 2002 the percentage of children living in single-parent families increased from 7% to 21%" (Sociology themes and perspectives, Haralambos and Holborn, 05) Single parenthood can happen for a number of different reasons e.g. divorce, separation or death of partner There are generalization and misconceptions about single parents, one of which is that all single parents are teenage girls who are after a council flat and the security of the welfare state, but in no uncertain terms, this is not the case. Most single parents would be happy to bring a child up in the nuclear family, but couldn't due the various circumstances. Adults (particularly women) have become 'single parents by choice meaning they have decided to have or adopt a child, knowing they would be the sole parent. ...read more.


which they believe are holding women back; so they are not capable of becoming independent. Marxist sees the nuclear family as only benefiting the Bourgeoisie (ruling class). Research by Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State 1884) show that Marxists believed that the nuclear was designed to keep male's dominaint through the inheritance of land and private property. And also the nuclear family socialized there children into accepting capitalism ultimaty reproducing the capitalist labour force. Critics of Marxist view of the family say the it doesn't take into account the diversity of they family. According to Post modernists it is ok to have diversity among families they believe that no particular type of family dominates in society. Judith Stacey for example suggests that a 'single individual will experience a variety of family structures throughout their life span'. Movement across classes and the proximity between the numbers of diverse cultures and attitudes, support the postmodernist ideology There are functions performed by a variety of families. Marxism and Feminism only rejects the idea of the 'functionalist fit thesis' because of exploitation it promotes within the family and society. Postmodernism re-interprets the traditional concept of the 'Functionalist fit' as they believe that variety and choice has led to the widening of the 'functionalist fit thesis' which is no longer just limited to the nuclear family. ...read more.

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