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

Assess the view that Industrialisation lead to the nuclear family replacing the extended family as the main form of household structure.

Extracts from this document...


Assess the view that Industrialisation lead to the nuclear family replacing the extended family as the main form of household structure Through out many sociological outlooks it is discussed that the structure of the household was changed due to industrialisation. However, there is much debate about the structure before and after industrialisation, and what caused the change. During industrialisation work moved from agriculture to industrial work producing manufactured goods. During this time there was a population explosion, towns and cities grew, and the population congregated in large urban areas. Functionalists agree that the family did undergo a transition from mainly having an extended structure to predominantly nuclear structure. They believe this transition happened due to the pressures of adaptation to a new society. For example, geographical mobility. An extended family network would prove to be dysfunctional. As a modern industrial economy requires workers who are able to move around the country where there skills are required. Large extended families tend to be tied down by duties, obligations or relatives. Where as a nuclear family is streamlined and easy to be moved or adjusted. This meant the number of nuclear families increased due to geographical demand. Also, according to Parsons, (functionalist), the loss of functions of the family made it easier for families to be nuclear. ...read more.


He found only 10% of households in England from 1564 to 1821 included kin beyond the nuclear family. The figure for Great Britain in 1981 was similar, 9%. Laslett claims this shows that nuclear families were the norm in pre-industrial England. He then found similar results in Western Europe. However, the first figure was England (10%), where as the other was of Great Britain (9%), this is then not very accurate. Also, perhaps some families were missed off of the Parish Records; this shows relying on other data means they can never be sure their results are 100% correct. Also, his research was based on households, but people do not have to live together to be an extended family. Extended families may have been important even though relatives lived in neighbouring households. One of Laslett's arguments against theories of sociologists such as Parsons, who believe that the pre-industrial family was extended, is in pre-industrial times the mortality rate was so high that very few people would have lived long enough to assume the role of grandparent, especially in the lower classes. Laslett says that the higher classes had extended households. Having wider kin and servants. This is because older members were richer and could afford good healthcare and servants. Where as the lower classes had such high mortality rates families were mainly nuclear, but if it did have older generations they tended to live together due to over crowding. ...read more.


Even amongst middle class families, the one most would expect to have a small nuclear family as they are less tied to a location because of poverty or wealth is still shown through empirical evidence that a modified nuclear arrangement is still and has been very popular as a family structure. In conclusion the connection between the nuclear family and industrialisation is not a valid argument, as many of the points supporting this, from sociologists such as Parsons have been proved mainly wrong. However, not all functionalists can be judged by this as some have different opinions. As writes such as Goode have questioned whether the nuclear family is even the best structure suited to modern societies shows how he does not fit into the typical functionalist view. Also, the functionalist Litwak describes how nothing is truly nuclear or truly extended. Taking into consideration new ideas of family structure, such as the modified nuclear family, meeting somewhere in between. Overall it is a mistake to say that families before industrialisation was extended, just as it is a mistake to say after it was nuclear. Other things had to be taken into account when considering change in family structure, such as, capitalism or social relationships. Finally, we cannot assume that all people whatever class they were in had the same experiences, as different classes experienced the industrialisation process differently. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 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 AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Examine the effects of Industrialisation on the structure of the Family.

    Then came the industrial revolution. Parsons believed that the industrial revolution brought about the dramatic change from the extended family to the nuclear and three fundamental changes to society. Industrialisation brought the geographically mobile workforce and no longer was the ascription of jobs important, instead achievement became the main and most important method once education had been introduced.

  2. Is the Nuclear Family a universal social unit?

    only studied one tribe so it could have been different else where. Single parent families have increased over the years and are now "expected and accepted". Murdock calls the single parent family a broken nuclear family, one sociologist disagrees Hannerz says it can't be a broke family as I most

  1. International Relations Assess the arguments for and against the proliferation of nuclear weapons

    either are under considerable influence from the military where a weak civilian government is in place, or are led by a military government in the first place.

  2. Examine the view that popular definitions of the family are dominated by a traditional ...

    Here are some facts * The proportion of children living in lone-parent families in Great Britain more than tripled between 1972 and spring 2004, to 24 percent. * In 2003/4, one in six adults aged 16 and over lived alone in Great Britain * In spring 2004, 58 percent of

  1. "The nuclear family: problem or solution".

    summarises the main within this conservative model as follows. The nuclear family is universal family unit, consisting of a man and women and children, which has been present in the past, present and future. Also the nuclear family is recognised as the solution for the society, the foundations in

  2. Disadvantages of Capitalism.

    This will lead to the expansion of the economy and greater prosperity. In summing up the advantages, it is clear to see that the consumer has the power to dictate the goods in the economy.

  1. Dtente, meaning and definition.

    Deterrence is main feature and element of the d�tente. Nixon observes, peace is the by-product of "mutual respect for each other's strength". He further says: "our policy must combine deterrence with d�tente. D�tente without deterrence leads to appeasement, and deterrence without d�tente leads to unnecessary confrontation " 6 2.

  2. "Buddha is smiling"[1] is what D.P Dhar, Indira Gandhi's principal advisor and close friend, ...

    The third event was the Chinese nuclear test, which occurred just two years after the Indo-Sino war in 1962, lost by India. [Ramana]. The Chinese nuclear test brought a new argument into the pro-b**b lobby. They argued that, although India was a peaceful country, if there was any nuclear provocation,

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