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

Assess the view that, despite recent changes in family life,

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the view that, despite recent changes in family life, "the conventional nuclear family remains the norm" for families and households in Britain today. Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of British society and although there have been recent changes in family life, is the norm of Britain today still the conventional nuclear family? The nuclear family has always been considered the norm in society ever since the industrial revolution but in society today the single parent family has had a dramatic increase from around 4% to 10% and no longer is the conventional nuclear family the powerful norm that it used to be. The supposed value of the "traditional family unit" is that it provides social cohesion and stability because the family home is a place where two adults live and care for each other and for their children, where needs are met, moral values inculcated, and personal happiness ensured. However the modern sense of what it means to be a family is changing and the conventional nuclear family is thought by many to be a thing of the past. ...read more.

Middle

However there have been criticisms of Murdock suggesting that in his passion for his work he may have been caught up in the fact that there may have been other institutions within society, which can perform various functions of the family that he describes as being indispensable Parsons stated that the nuclear family performs two core functions; the primary socialization of children, and the stabilization of adult personalities. Parsons argues that the women's role in the family is 'expressive', providing warmth, security and emotional support to the husband and children, and the males' role is 'instrumental', as the breadwinner. This view of the family and gender roles for men and women is quite old fashioned. Nowadays-conjugal roles are more symmetrical. Women can now be wage earners and it no longer seems deviant for men to take a role in childcare and the domestic chores. However there have been many criticisms of Parsons. One is the fact that he idealised the nuclear family. He portrays this image of the family as having well adjusted children and sympathic spouses who care for each other's needs. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the nuclear family still remains the norm in British society but not in the conventional way that it used to. Many nuclear families today have symmetrical conjugal roles with both the man and women going out to work. The conventional nuclear family seems to have almost disappeared with only 24% still remaining in the old ways while the symmetrical nuclear family of the modern society still seems to be the norm with over 50% of the population living within one. Though the nuclear family is no longer as powerful as it used to be. Is this because now divorce is easier, than it used to be in industrial times and women are no longer as depended on men so no longer need to stay in loveless marriages. However the single parent families are becoming a larger part of society today after doubling over the last 20 years and one main reason for this is supposedly that women now have control and our able to divorce more easily. The government now provides single parents with benefits and even houses so are actually making it easier for people to separate. This raises the question, should divorce be so easy or is it better that people live in loveless nuclear families? ...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. Assess the view that the modern family is symmetrical

    chores, compared to the 7 hours spent by men doing household chores. The survey of 5000 women, carried out by Health Magazine Top Sante (2001) found that only 3% of men do more ironing or washing than their female partners.

  2. Discuss the major changes to have taken place in family life in Britain since ...

    This also seems to be regardless of whether or not children are involved. Single parent families are family units where only one parent, most often the mother resides with the children. A common characteristic of single parent households is that of social and economic strain.

  1. "Commitment to Family life is dying"

    Victorian times, single mothers, adultery and women in the work place existed and the effects have not made a noticeable difference. The danger of the belief that this family is the normal family is dangerous as it is not supported by statistical evidence (only 15% of British families today fit this description)

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

    " Although, there has been a substantial amount of discussion, to whether the nuclear family existed, in the Twentieth century. I intend my research to discover whether the nuclear family is still the norm is British society in 2003. Methodology In order to fully explore my hypothesis, I based my

  1. Changes in Family Roles

    from each other, with many of them living very far away geographically. The separation could be due to anything, especially the fact that the single nuclear family had become closer, but also due to the fact that people have started moving around more which may have caused many families to separate.

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

    Thirdly Parson also argued that the new nuclear unit provided the husband and wife with very cleaver social roles. The man was the "instrumental leader", who was responsible for the economic welfare of the family group, and goes out and earns money, while the female was seen as the "expressive

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

    washing and ironing, while men do jobs such as gardening and home maintenance. The key findings of all my primary research include that although it is true that women have made a huge progress, total equality in the home is still a myth.

  2. Assess the view that, despite recent changes in Family life, "the conventional nuclear family ...

    Parsons says the functions (purposes) of a family is the stabilisation of adult personalities and socialisation. R. Fletcher (1966) used the term 'cereal packet family' in his work, when he was identifying the essential functions of a family, which are: reproduction, stable satisfaction of sexual needs and the provision of a home.

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