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

Assess the claim that industrialisation led to the break-up of the extended family.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the claim that industrialisation led to the break-up of the extended family For the first half of the twentieth century, it was assumed that there was a clear pattern in the relationship between industrialisation and the changing structure of the family. It was believed that within a pre-industrialised society, the extended family was the most common form of family structure and that when people moved to the factories and cities the family shrank to become nuclear. Sociologists have provided studies into this theory to support the statement that industrialisation led to the break-up of the extended family, whilst others have provided theories that challenge it. Item B discusses Parson's theory on industrialisation. He argues that 'the pre-industrial extended family was a multi functional unit that met most of people's needs' and that modernisation caused 'institutional differentiation, as specialised institutions emerged to meet particular needs' resulting in the family loosing many of its functions. ...read more.


Anderson argues that this idea is 'over simple' and that industrialisation increased people's dependency on their families as some members went out to work. He discovered that in the 1850's families in the newly industrialised north lived close to their kin because of needing help in sickness and in helping each other find work. This theory is backed up by Chris Harris (in Anderson 1980) who states that 'there is no hard evidence to support this view of transforming effect of industrialisation on family structure.' Anderson's theory is valuable as it shows that industrialisation actually encouraged the growth of the extended family and that the family was just broken down into different households. Laslett also disagrees with Parson's theory claiming that the extended family was not the ordinary institution for pre-industrial England and that this is just a 'matter of ideology'. He states that the nuclear family 'predominates numerically almost everywhere, even in under developed parts of the world' and that the extended family, although existing, was never dominate. ...read more.


The most common structure of the Asian family is the nuclear family but this does not mean the importance of extended family ties has diminished. Asian families travel miles to be together for family events and attend Sunday gatherings where the warmth and support of the family is shared. The forming of the nuclear family among ethnic minority families is said to be down to immigration patterns not industrialisation and the nuclear family is also most common in Caribbean families. However, studies from Sallie Westwood and Parminder Bhachu warn of generalisations in Asian households and Ann Phoenix says there is 'no more a typical Afro Caribbean family than a typical white family'. Another issue to consider is the structure of families from different classes. Elizabeth Bott in 1957 found that joint conjugal roles were more likely to be apparent in middle class families where there is no rigid value system of peer pressure. In working class families roles are segregated due to tight-knit kins and friendships. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology 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 GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Changes in Family Roles

    This aim was answered mainly by the three interviews I carried out and compared. From them I found that the role of women has changed majorly within the family. In conclusion, men and women have fairly equal roles and involvement within the family in our day and age.

  2. Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society?

    divorce, do single choose to be on their own and if so why? As this will allow me to make more accurate conclusions into why the nuclear family is no longer the norm in Britain today. When conducting my survey for my research I have also decided to survey 50

  1. Rationale - I have decided to study the gender-oriented issue of conjugal roles in ...

    One of the other reasons why I decided to use the diary method is it does not limit the resource-based area of time and money. The diary method will enable me to collect informative, relevant and original data whilst remaining within practical constraints.

  2. Assess the Claim that the Nuclear Family is Universal.

    Economic activities such as working in the fields are performed for the whole of the kibbutz. Likewise, education is often the responsibility of the kibbutz as a whole. But whereas this is true to some extent in all modern societies in which children attend school, the kibbutz takes the principle a step further.

  1. Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of ...

    He suggests that the process of industrialisation may have strengthened the need for reliance of the extended family being as they were the dominant in industrial families. Anderson's main concern was with the working class families for whom kin may have been a mutual support in times of need, due

  2. Illegal Immigration

    For example they sit together in class, they are all in the same clubs and they hang out together during recess periods. As a result sometimes gangs start to form as a support system for these students. 6. As we know, the majority of the Bahamian population resides in New

  1. Masculinity and Asian gangs

    with their historical situations, does not consist of isolated acts (Connell p34:2001). Actions are configured in larger units, and when we speak of masculinity and femininity we are naming configurations of gender practises (Connell p34:2001). What Connell means by gender configurations is that historically we have seen a development of

  2. Gender Studies

    From this early experience comes the notion that one survives by marrying and taking care of the m an, who must earn the living. Girls learn to satisfy their pleasure needs and their contribution needs by direct service to others.17 Social values are changing in the USA as well as in the rest of the world.

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