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Why family formations have changed in Britain.

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Introduction

Explain how and why have family formations changed in Britain? Family formations have significantly changed since the late 1960's. Many sociologists have their own theories on why families are important and the functions a family should maintain. Functionalists believe that the main function of the family is to perform vital functions for society to survive. The family has essential functions which it must perform to meet the basic needs of society and its members. G.P Murdock (1949) states that the family performs four basic functions. Sexual-The family provides and controls sexual access to its family members. Reproductive-The family members reproduce at a child bearing age in order for society to have new members. Economic-the family should provide a warm and loving home with the basis needs in order to survive such as food and warmth. The family also teaches us social norms and values needed for economic co-operation. Education-The family sends their children to school which is needed to provide socialisation skills which are essential to pass on to the next generation. Functionalism stresses the positive role of the family. The family is seen as a universal institute that has a key relationship between other social institutes. ...read more.

Middle

All feminists agree that women re exploited in some ways in society and more so in the home. Oppression of the women is a result of male dominance through biology and physical strength. Feminists view the traditional nuclear family as being around male power and supporting male power. Feminists believe that it was the industrialisation period that put a women's place in the home. New rights have criticised feminists for undermining traditional family values. Feminists assume that all families have a male head who dominates the rest of the household and feminism tends to focus too much on the negative aspects of family life. Because feminism has been a political agenda, feminists have over estimated the extent of family equality. Patterns of family formation and dissolution have dramatically changed since the late 1960's. Then the traditional family consisted of family unit containing two generations, parents and children, also known as the nuclear family. In the 1960's this was the only type of family that was deemed as normal and any other type of family was seen as being deviant. In modern society there is no such thing as a 'normal' family. This is largely due to a number of changes in the law. ...read more.

Conclusion

She found that women took a lead in household duties as well as childcare, and males had the stereotypical role as worker. Women did not expect husbands to share roles as it was seen as a normal way of living. Today there is a significant difference in conjugal roles and what society expects the role of a man to be. In 1984, 1991, and 1997 another survey was carried out by the British Social Attitudes and found that household duties were more shared, and women had become more involved in traditional men's work such as household jobs. Joint conjugal roles are now more popular, this is where a husband and wife both share roles and make decisions together. In summary I think it can be said that there is a large number of reasons and factors that have contributed to the change in family formations in Britain. Not only has the changes in the law participated in his but the ever changing attitude of society has been a great influence. Britain is now more tolerant to the number of different family structures therefore allowing families to develop and change. Taylor, P (2008) Sociology in Focus: Causeway: Omskirk. Haralambros and Holborn (2000) Sociology themes and perspectives: Harper Collins: London. Moore, S (1995) A-level Sociology: Lefts education: London ?? ?? ?? ?? Chyrise Cox Sociology Assignment Two-Sociology of the Family. 1 ...read more.

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