• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14

Sociology and the Family

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Sociology and the Family Many sociologists share the consensus that the family unit is an integral component of society. Defined as a body of people living together or close by who are affiliated through kinship ties or marriage, many variations and modifications are evident in Britain today. There has been a distinct evolution of the family unit since the preindustrial period. Functionalists believe the nuclear family thrived with the onset of industrialisation and early capitalism. Before this period, living habits and social structures were vastly different. According to some functionalists, the most common preindustrial family form in Western Europe was the extended family. Multigenerational households cohabited, working by hand and sharing duties. Farming was the predominant occupation with the majority of the population living in the countryside. Before industrialisation took place, approximately 75% of the population worked in agriculture (Porter, 2004). According to sociologists Peter Willmott and Michael Young (1973) ?The division of labour was presided over by the husband. He was not just the husbandman. He was the undisputed master? (p. 67). Changes were brought about with the onset of industrialisation, when the development of machines made hand workers redundant. Migration to the cities ensued with the public working for longer hours and smaller wages in the factories. ...read more.

Middle

estimated that 40% of cohabiting couples will eventually progress into marriage; however 26% of these marriages result in divorce. Conflicts, modernity, and the ease of divorce contribute towards increasing divorce statistics. Secularisation in society has diminished the religious belief which prohibits the act of divorce. Furthermore, as a result of relaxations of British divorce laws, it has become more widespread and accessible for persons seeking divorce. ?Empty Shell? marriages and physical separation also account for marriage breakdown. Spouses continue living together, although their marriage exists in name only. Married couples choose to sleep in separate rooms, with some even going as far as living separately. Marriages are changing, as are attitudes. Society is not as patriarchal as it once was. Only 1.8% of women were economically inactive as of February 2012, as opposed 2.4% of men (?Labour Market Statistics,? 2012). It is now deemed acceptable for the female to assume the role of ?breadwinner.? Single mothers who govern the household are also not uncommon, nor are lesbian households. Matriarchalism is proving to be a significant component of contemporary society. The contemporary British family is breaking away from gender specific stereotypes. Willmott and Young perceive the modern family to be mainly conjugal, sharing household tasks and responsibilities. ...read more.

Conclusion

According to Gernsheim, the impact of multiculturalism may help to reduce intolerance between ethnic groups. Furthermore, studies show that ethnic children adapt well to British conduct. British Asian children show westernised qualities whilst away from the family, yet at home they conform to Asian ideology (Ballard, n.d.). In 2009, a study revealed that 77% of British Asians strongly identified with Britain, as opposed to just 55% of their white counterparts. The same study showed that 67% of British Asians were happy to live in mixed neighbourhoods (?The Gallup Coexist Index,? 2009). The evolution of the family shows no signs of ceasing. Culture continues to diverse, as does the family. Nuclear families developed, flourished, and dwindled. Romanticised functionalist ideals do not conform to modern standards ? other ideals are becoming the norm. No longer are people expected to marry; cohabitation, civil partnership and single lifestyle are convenient alternatives. Western women are no longer suppressed, allowing for more symmetrical and less patriarchal households and families. A person can bore as many children as they desire, whether they are in matrimony or not, and without being socially segregated. Prejudice and racism is under no circumstance acceptable due to the array of race, religion and sexual inclination in Britain. Sociologists accept the impact of ever changing families and cultures, and society has no choice but to embrace it. Whether one favours such change, it is an undeniable fact of modernity. 2,213 words. ...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

    If the male also works he is more likely help but again the housework is not distributed equally. As women still tend to carry out the majority of household tasks this backs up the theories of feminists who see domestic labour as exploitation.

  2. Discuss the view that the modern family is becoming more diverse

    Unlike Feminists, the New Right maintain that high divorce rates and the increase in lone parent families are a threat to social stability indicating a direct link between the rising crime amongst young men who do not have a father figure to provide discipline and authority.

  1. Is the modern family breaking down or is it simply changing?

    Ghazal Bhatti supported this study of Ballard's in her book 'Asian children at home and at school' (1999). She studied a sample of 50 Asian children from Southern England, 44 were Muslim with Pakistani or Bangladeshi family backgrounds, four were Hindus and two were Sikhs with Indian origins.

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

    education is seen as the most appropriate manner to gain success in life, with improved employment possibilities, women are no longer dependent on the 'breadwinning' male (Cheal, 2002). For numerous years, the concept of marriage was seen as a life long affair; only to be ruptured by the disappearance of one of the partners...

  1. Is the nuclear family in decline?

    Nicholson sees the nuclear family as a unit were parents and children live together, where bond between husband and wife is very important. According to Nicholson working class people have always aspired to form a nuclear family even thou their low income usually prevents them from doing so, as they

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

    Figure 2 line graph shows the trend of teenagers been pregnant through the years of 2012-2014 in community L Figure 3 shows the percentage of respondents highlighting how they reacted when they found that there were pregnant. 2% stated that they were happy about it, 23% were sad about it

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

    The Church has also traditionally been supportive of marriage, and now that the Church has less and less influence over society?s values, marriage could be seen to be declining in value too. Most religions uphold the value of marriage and therefore condemn divorce, so in the past religious couples have

  2. Gender roles/expectations that exists in contemporary Japanese society

    During my university classes I have read that traditionally husband and wife are expected to communicate as little as possible here in Japan. This situation is described as a domestic divorce.

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