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Examine the extent of, and reasons for, family diversity in today's society.

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Introduction

Examine the extent of, and reasons for, family diversity in today's society. Ann Oakley has described nuclear families, which consist of married couples, with choosing if they want parenthood of one or more children, as the typical family. Edmund Leach has called this the 'cereal packet image of the family'. He believes that the advertising industry portrays this type of family. Taxation and social security payments are also a feature of this, with payments made to the head of the family, which is usually the male. It is then considered that the male is the breadwinner and he meets the material needs. The wife and children are dependent and have a predominantly domestic role. But this is misleading as in 1995; fewer than 25% of households in Britain consisted of this family type, whereas in 1998, it was 23%. This shows a slight decline in the 'cereal packet image of the family'. ...read more.

Middle

2-Cultural diversity-which is the differences between ethnic origins and different religious beliefs. 3-Social classes-this is in terms of relationships between adults and the way children are brought up in the society. 4-Life cycle- depending on the stage in the life cycle, different results may arise such as newly wed couples without children, may have a different family life of those with dependent children, or children that have left home. Finally, 5-Cohart- this refers to the different stages at which the family has passed through. This affects the life experiences of the family, e.g. During the baby boom in 50's and the 60's, unemployment was high and this may have increased children to become dependent on their parents. With these 5 aspects of diversity identified, Eversley and Bonnerjea draw their attention towards regional diversity. There are 6 points, 1-the 'sun belt'-which is the over-represented by the higher social classes, the wealthy south. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although, many Asian families are now based on the nuclear families, their wider kinship is still respected. The nuclear family in usually the norm for West Indian families in Britain, it is also common for couples to live together outside marriage. Mothers and other female relatives help the lone mothers, which are not unusual. Driver found this true of West Indian families in Britain, with a high proportion of matrifocal families. Phoenix also warns against danger of stereotyping ethnic minority families, and ethnic minority families are themselves diverse. There are also other ethnic minorities which all have their own family traditions, which adds to the diversity of families in Britain. There are less and less people living in parents-and-children households. People living alone or in lone-parenthood households have increased in numbers, and a move away from living in nuclear families in Britain. It is increasingly acceptable to form alternative households and families to conventional nuclear ones. ...read more.

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