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

CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY INCLUDES A WIDE VARIETY OF FAMILY PATTERNS. DISCUSS WITH REFERENCE TO SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY INCLUDES A WIDE VARIETY OF FAMILY PATTERNS. DISCUSS WITH REFERENCE TO SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH. The family has often been regarded as the cornerstone of society. In pre-modern and modern societies alike, it has been seen as the most basic unit of social organisation and one that carries out vital tasks such as socialising children. From the 1960s, an increasing number of critical thinkers began to question the assumption that the family was necessarily a beneficial institution. In the following decades the family was not just under attack from academic writers- social change also seemed to be undermining traditional families. Rising divorce rates, cohabitation before marriage, increasing numbers of single-parent families and single person households and other trends have all suggested that individuals may be basing their lives less and less around conventional families. In 'World Revolution and Family Patters' William J.Goode argues that many of the functions once performed by the family have been taken over by outside agencies such as schools, business and welfare organisations. This has greatly reduced the importance of the family in contemporary society. Fletcher however commences that the family has not lost functions for they were never performed to the standards of today. ...read more.

Middle

In addition the decline of t he extended family has meant that there is less pressure from the wider kin ton newly married couple to maintain traditional roles. From Young and Willmott's research, it was found that 72% of husbands did housework. However, in this regard Ann Oakley stated that even men who made a very small contribution to housework would be included in this percentage. She found out greater equality in terms of allocation of domestic tasks between spouses I the middle class than in the working class. However, in both cases few men had a high level of participation in housework and childcare. In the 20th Century the family has become smaller and this led to more individual attention to each other. Since in the 19th century the typical working hours were 70-80 hours per week, while today it is about 44, this meant that parents have more time to spend with their children. As a result of higher standards of living more money can be spent on children and their activities (clothing etc.). Today there has been a decline I average family size. This is due to more effective and cheaper methods of contraceptive have been developed in the 20th century, and even societies' attitude towards them has changed. ...read more.

Conclusion

This increase was mainly due to an increase of the rate of divorce and of unemployment and poverty. It was also because social attitudes towards the single parent family have changed and become more acceptable. Other forms of family diversity have developed or become more prominent. Gay and lesbian households may have become more common place, certainly there are more openly gay and lesbian households than there were several decades ago. As Jeffrey Weeks, Catherine Donovan and Brian Heaphey argue, 'During the past generation the possibilities of living an openly lesbian and gay life have been transformed' (Weeks, Donovan and Heaphey, 1999). Many sociologists believe that such households, where they incorporate long-term gay or lesbian relationships, should be seen as constituting families. However this contrasts with Murdock's definition of the family which contains 'adult of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship'. The types of families we know today are quite different from those of the past. This is due to the changes in family patterns. However to sum up once can still say that about 95% of the people still marry, and have a family, regardless to the what type of family this is. (1,277 words) ___________________________________________________ ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...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

    They both appear to now share household chores, unlike in the past when that was strictly the wife's job. In addition to this information, from the blog I posted I found that many people believe that the extended family still plays its role within the family to some extent.

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

    I initial choose to study25 Males and 25 females, but the cost and time would have been too extortionate, for a small study such as this. So, I choose to save time and costs by sampling 12 males and females, from my local area, Sandiacre.

  1. Attitudes to gay and Lesbian families

    I want to use questionnaires because I can set the questions in a format I want, such as closed or open questions, to receive a specific type of answer.

  2. "Religion may encourage rather than inhibit Social Change," Critically discuss this statement with reference ...

    as an authentic expression and tool of resistance against class based oppression. Maduro says that religion can play a role in the political struggles of oppressed classes in developing countries and looked closely at the ideas of Liberation Theology. The Liberation Theology occurred in Latin America where the vast majority of people were trapped in poverty.

  1. The position of widows in Nepalese society - sociological study.

    By the time they understand the reality, they are tied for life. An increase in the mean age of marriage, therefore, may be taken as an indicator of increased power for individual women and men in the cheice of their own life partners, and hence their empowerment.

  2. One is not born, but rather becomes a woman' (de Beauvoir 1956). Discuss the ...

    They were also critical of they saw a girl using girls;' toys in a 'boyish' way or boys using boys' toys in a 'girlish' way. Parents set out these rules usually, so it is again socialisation that is teaching us how to act.

  1. Societies have evolved a variety of structures for settling disputes. Select two contrasting examples- ...

    It is the consequences of individuals actions, not social disharmony, that motivates individuals toward a peaceful society. There is a great emphasis on power, control and authority. Breaking a law, however trivial, are still punished simply because they are forbidden.

  2. Assess the view that the modern family is symmetrical

    Lynn Riley, secretary of the British Housewives League, believes that governments have been running the housewife down since the 1960's and forcing women into work through economic disincentives such as cutting and then abolishing the married couples tax allowance (www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1183857)

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