Feminists and feminism would also back the view that the nuclear family is not an institution which is universal and available to everyone. They believe that the nuclear family does not benefit the society as a whole and instead promotes and encourages a patriarchal and segregated society in which other humans are shunned and seen as being lesser to others. In this way the nuclear family is an institution which is clearly universal and only certain ‘worthy’ people are allowed and able to experience the benefits that it apparently provides. This segregation may not only occur for women but also for those who are unable to have children or are unable to look after their own children for whatever reasons this may be.
Contradictory to the feminist idea of a nuclear family as not benefiting society the new right believe that it does. The nuclear family believe that the nuclear family should also be a place for segregated roles and clear boundaries for all those involved. If the family was to weaken or disappear for any reason then the ‘whole of society and all the individuals in it will be under threat’. This because it is believed by the new right that nuclear families cost society as a whole as they do not have to be paid. They see this as being a positive as it means that the money which is saved could be used to improve the society and therefore allows for a better quality of life and for more members of society to enter into a nuclear family set up. It is a cycle of benefit.
This is contradicted by the Marxist idea that it is not a universal system as there is great diversity within the world in culture, religion and family set up as way as others. They see this as being a benefit for the modern society as it encourages learning, tolerance, acceptance and equality something that nuclear family does not seem to promote. Without these qualities then the world would not be a peaceful place and it would be full of hate, segregation, discrimination, arrogance and one culture, country, religion, race and other differences would be completely divided. This would not benefit society as we are heavily reliant on other countries for trade, income and help in times of crisis as are other countries are on us.
However it must be remembered that the idea of the nuclear family occurs within other countries some of which have cultures which are very different from our down. For example in china it is encouraged that a young women becomes married and has a child even though it is restricted as there is only meant to be one child born to each couple due to china’s one child policy as a way of restricting there over population. This is also replicated in Nazi occupied Germany. German women were encouraged to be house wives and have children; this was following the doctrine of the three ‘K’s’ – Children, Cooking and Church. The women even received medals and financial award for having large numbers of children. This was happening in the domestic home whilst the men were expected to take and hold down jobs to support their growing family and the German war effort and desire for global power. Because of this it could be argued that the nuclear family is universal to all and can still encourage a sense of diversity.
The idea of the nuclear family has also been used as part of numerous propaganda campaigns over the course of history – Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany and England during the Second World War effort. This could further support the idea that it does benefit society and that it is the best for the country which chooses to adopt it and its functions. It is important to remember that propaganda is mainly used during times of crisis, war or dramatic changes so this may not be an accurate view of how the nuclear family can benefit society and be universal to all.
In more modern times, the joining of the armed forces or working away from home and the family is a traditionally and stereotypically what the men of the house do. This would fit with the idea of the nuclear family being universal; even for those who are away from home. This is because it would typically mean that the mother and wife would be left to care for the house and children whilst the husband is earning the income. Even if the women was working then it is likely just to be during the school hours and schooling of the children, this is likely to mean that the husband sis earning the higher income and being the main bread winner for the family.
In conclusion the nuclear family after being examined is clearly not a universal institution as everyone’s different as this means that their circumstances, beliefs and views will be different also. Because of this everyone’s idea of how a family should be run and provided for will also be different. It should also be remembered that due to changes in circumstance a set up mirroring that of a nuclear family may not be available to everyone. This could be because of the person they married, illness, disability, death or the amount of children who are born into that family. The majority of these thaings are things that people are unable to control. The nuclear family cannot be made universal without changing the boundaries which make it so.