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Sociology – The Family.

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Introduction

Sociology - The Family The object of this assignment is to look at and define what "the family" means, and explore the different types of families by looking at some varying sociological perspectives. It will also investigate the health needs and functions of the family before and after the industrial revolution and how they have changed. Finally we will take a look at the concept of how people's values may differ to those who work in a healthcare setting, and the importance to recognise the values of others as individuals from person to person. A family can take many different forms sociologically speaking, although certain types of family are sometimes stereo typically recognised by society, such as the Nuclear family "A family group consisting of a mother, father and dependant children" (Giddens, 1997a). Society reflects that the nuclear family isn't always feasible according to circumstance; different family systems have also gained recognition from sociologists. "All known societies involve some form of family system, although the nature of family relationships is widely variable. While in modern societies the main family form is the nuclear family, a variety of extended family relationships are often found" (Giddens, 1997b). ...read more.

Middle

Changes in the family have evolved over many years. Before the industrial revolution employment was found on the land in agriculture. Families where somewhat larger as mortality rates amongst children were higher, children were also expected to work at young ages to boost and add security to income. Sociologists once thought that the main type of family in these times was the extended family type, although research has shown that this wasn't the case, it was the nuclear family. "The average family size was 4.75 persons, the current average is 3.04 persons" (Giddens 1997d). The difference in family size hasn't changed all that much. With the introduction of steam power, canals and flourishing overall industrial industry, families left rural life for new futures and opportunities in towns and developing cities. Low paid jobs with poor conditions were readily available to men, women and children, although people's health suffered immensely due to lack of sanitation and healthcare. In the Victorian era, families could not afford medical treatment or even, time away from work to care for children or older relatives. Everyone had to help each other in the best way possible, as the welfare state didn't exist. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Enabling people to communicate, and treating what they say with respect, is enabling them to participate in care" (Cribb, 1993). There are many different types of family which all have a place in society today, and there are many different opinions on the existence of each. There is no single perspective, which will suit everyone's circumstances, values or opinion, but there is something to be taken from each that will be of benefit in some way shape or form. Functionalists seem to look at the family as a harmonious unit, which fails to recognise dysfunctional elements such as child abuse and violence within the family. Conflict theorists seem to lace certain aspects of the nuclear family with negativity and tend to exaggerate its decline. Families have indeed changed since the industrial revolution although the framework of the family still remains; it has just been lined with new social circumstances. Health professional-patient relationships in healthcare have to vary so that different cultures, values and an individuals social norms are respected and identified, so that the health professional can bridge any power gaps and find out how the patient feels, how the patient makes sense of what treatment they are having and what their hopes and fears are This will enable them to have an active role in the delivery of their care. ...read more.

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