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Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of British society, but did it exist before within the extended family

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Introduction

Since the Industrial revelation the nuclear family has been recognised as the norm of British society, but did it exist before within the extended family? The pre- industrial family was said to be an extended family consisting of three generations, the children, parents and the grandparents. The family would all work together in the farms to help provide for the entire families needs, children as young a 5 or 6 would have been found work to do. However this was until the Industrial revolution when factories become the main source of work and development. The pre-industrial societies were largely based on extended kinship networks; land and other resources were commonly owned by a range of relatives that extended well beyond the unit of the nuclear family. It was very common for families to work alongside their cousins and even live with them. This extended family was responsible for the production of the shelter, food and clothing for the family. Roles in the family were usually ascribed to the offspring rather than being achieved. These roles would hardly ever be rejected and in return for this commitment, the extended network would perform other functions for the members. The family gave its members the skills and the education in which to take their place in the family division of labour. ...read more.

Middle

However is this actually true? Laslett seems to suggest that the nuclear family has always existed but worked as an extended family and that industrialisation only occurred because of the nuclear family and not the other way around. So if Laslett is correct then there was no extended family but two nuclear families working as an extended unit, living under separate roofs. This greatly flaws Parsons and Young and Wilmot's theories of the extended family consisting of three generations. So has the nuclear family always been the norm of British society and has everything that has been developed has only been developed because of it? 'Examine the effects of industrialisation on the structure of the family' The Industrial Revolution was from 1750's - 1850's, which had four main effects. One was the Economic system becoming industrial from agriculture, the second was Mechanisation meaning production in factories becoming more efficient, the third was Urbanisation and the fourth was population explosion - low mobility rate and higher birth rate. Tallcott Parsons (1950's) believed that the extended family in pre Industrial Britain was the most beneficial as they were a unit of production and they were able to maintain a subsistence level of existence with very little reliance on non-family members. Parsons believed that post industrialisation, the nuclear family became the new dominant family structure for reasons such as geographical mobility. ...read more.

Conclusion

He applies the concept of 'role bargaining' to his study of the family meaning individuals attempt to obtain the best possible bargain in their relationships with others, which affects the family structure as they will maintain relationships with kin and submit to their control if they feel they are getting a good return on their investment of tome, energy and emotion. David cheal criticises Goode's theories as being closely related to the modernist view of progress. He particularly attacks Parsons saying faith in progress expressed by writers like parsons ignored contradictions within modernity. From a Marxist perspective the nuclear family benefited capitalism as it can be used as an ideological apparatus to promote the capitalist values rather than benefiting the whole of society, this is because consumer advertising is directed at the nuclear family nuclear for example adverts for cereals, it encourages them to pursue capitalist goals by stressing the importance of materialism. Although Radical feminists believe the nuclear family benefits the needs of men rather than all of society. This is because radicals believe that men and women are socialised into a set of ideas that largely confirms male power and superiority, it transmits patriarchal ideology encouraging the nation that the sexual division of labour is natural. It would appear that we are moving more into a nuclear family structure but it is unlikely for the movement to be as fast as Parsons suggests ...read more.

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