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

Using appropriate sources of information support or refute the argument that in contemporary society the family has lost its relevance.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Using appropriate sources of information support or refute the argument that in contemporary society the family has lost its relevance. In this short essay, I will be supporting the argument, but as always there are two sides of a story. I will be highlighting the reasons why the family is not as traditional as it used to be. The most frequently quoted definition of the family is that of George Murdock: "The family is a social group characterised by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults" (Murdock 1949:1) ...read more.

Middle

and cohabiting families (living together without legally being married). There has been an increase in cohabitation since the 1970's. This is due to the fact that people are delaying marriage rather than rejecting it (Chester 1985). As a result forty per cent of births now occur outside marriage (ONS 2001). Evidence suggests that sex before marriage has become the norm, (Joshi, 1989) when in the past it was wrong or sinful to have sex before marriage. Families are much smaller than they used to be (fertility rate is now just 1.64 children per woman) - Mintel 2000. This implies that women are more concerned about their career prospects and education. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the other hand, the rise in the numbers of the elderly is dramatic. Reduced numbers of young people are giving rise to the proportion of elderly in the population. This leads to the question as to who will look after the elderly. In conclusion, I think that the family (more so the nuclear standard family) is losing its relevance, maybe not rapidly but gradually and slowly. As argued earlier, "All four trends- cohabitation, divorce, births outside marriage and single-parents are likely to be even more pronounced by 2020." (The Guardian, 2004). In the future, cohabitation and reconstitution will be more common, as the recent trends suggest. Studies suggest that the nuclear family is not the predominate family in the contemporary society. It seems likely that the increase in cohabitation is part of a new pattern of marriage. ...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. Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society?

    of Women 1968 Household 2003 Household Degree-level work 4.17% 54.19% Un-Skilled Work 20.85% 33.31% House Wife/Husband 74.98% 12.50% English and two other backgrounds 4.17% 1968 Household English 91.67% English and one other backgrounds 8.33% English and two other backgrounds Change in the role of women 2003 Household Degree-level work 54.19%

  2. Assess the argument that decline in marriage and the increase in both cohabitation and ...

    The "failure to marry" seems to be viewed with a degree of suspicion by family breakdown theorists - almost as if it represents a lack of moral commitment to one's partner. This represents a belief, perhaps, that cohabiting partners can simply "walk away" from a relationship without fear of any (legal)

  1. Discussing Legalizing Same-sex Marriage in China

    they regularly suffer from the public and demonstrate great respect to individual rights and freedom. In other words, without the marital rights that homosexuals deserve, they could only keep their relationships underground, which would cause various social problems.

  2. Changing Family in British Contemporary Society.

    that society functions on the basis of consensus, and that a balance is created due to society working together. Functionalists believe social institutions exist for a purpose. The family is also viewed in terms of the functions it performs, for the benefit of society and the individual.

  1. Critically discuss the importance of the institution of marriage in contemporary Britain.

    Society has evolved from an objective force into a social interaction that has arisen from the mutual agreements of free agents; this has had the effect of undermining the objective power of marriage and reinforcing the subjective. Marriage is now viewed as a partnership in which importance is placed on personal fulfilment and happiness something both parties willingly enter.

  2. Secondary research for equality in the family.

    Nearly half the men employment, compared with 4% of women, worked for more 30 hours a week. One in 16 women worked over 48 hours a week and a third of there partners did. Men and women jobs were clearly not equal.

  1. The human family is a group composed of a woman, her dependent children, and ...

    An effective way both to facilitate economic cooperation between the sexes while at the same time providing for a close bond between mother and child is through the establishment of residential groups that include adults of both sexes. The differing nature of male and female roles, as these are defined

  2. How far do the sources support the conclusion that, during the period 1780-1914, the ...

    Despite the bias that the source incorporates, the source gives a good personal view of the transformation of Britain through a foreign angle. A view which could support the opinion put forward in source 1, would be the statistical figures in source 4.

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