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EXAMINE AND ACCOUNT FOR FAMILY DIVERSITY IN THE UK Family diversity is the ways in which families are different. There are many different forms of families in the UK, some which are seen as better than others in society. Edmund Leach presents the 'cereal packet' image of the family which is the idea of the perfect family. This image is originally derived from the perfect happy family pictures that appeared on the cereal packets. In many ways this idea still fits with society's idea of how a family should be. This social idea of the family is so powerful that it has a negative effect on other types of families. This is because there is a sense that there is only one 'right' type of family. (Mother, father, two children - boy and a girl; father works, mother runs the home. However, this 'cereal packet' image of the family may not prove to be reality. Robert and Rhona Rapoport revealed that government statistics show that in 1978 only 20% of all families were a legally married couple with children and the male breadwinner. The figure of all households of married couples with dependant children was 38% in 1961 but by 1998 it decreased to 23%. ...read more.


A tradition of the upper class in England is that children will be at boarding school at a very young age. Another factor that can affect families is geography and location. Families in the Sunbelt in the south of England, there are higher house prices and less people will move out. However along the Sunbelt is the M4 corridor which there are many industrial companies such as NEC and Rover so there are many job opportunities with a well-paid salary which will enable you to support yourself. There are other different types of family types such as gay and lesbian families. In December 5th 2005 gay marriages were made legal in the UK for the first time ever. Many people argue that there has been a huge increase in the acceptability of gay and lesbian families as society is more open about this issue. Science and the growth of new reproductive technologies have allowed the number of gay and lesbian families to increase such as surrogacy and in vitro fertilisation. In vitro fertilisation involves fertilising an egg with a sperm. Surrogate motherhood involves one woman carrying a foetus produced by the egg of another woman. Gay and lesbian couples also if they choose to start a family now have the option of adopting. ...read more.


The new deal offered assistance with child care through tax incentives and by enabling young mothers to get qualifications. David Morgan suggests that the rise in single parenthood could partly be due to changing relationships between men and women. He says important factors causing the rise could include the expectations that men and women have of marriage and the growing opportunities for women to develop a life for themselves outside of marriage or long term cohabitations. As many people agree that lone parenthood can be seen as a problem in society, many see it as a sign of social progress. Sarah Mclanahan and Karen Booth approach the problem with a feminist perspective and state that single parent families are an alternative family form consistent with the emerging economic independence of women. In today's society women have more freedom. There are many different views on family diversity from a sociological and political perspective. There are different opinions on what type of family form is 'right'. Some people see the perfect family as the nuclear family and other family forms as being a social problem while others see that the family form doesn't determine whether the family is perfect or not, it's the relationship between the family members. Also the factors causing the emergence of these family forms may b a sign of social progress rather than a social problem ...read more.

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