Discuss the view that there is no typical family or household in Britain today

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Candice Burton


‘Discuss the view that there is no typical family or household in Britain today’

When society thinks of a family we automatically think of the nuclear family in which there is a mum, dad and often two or three children. This type is seen as the statistical norm until the 1980’s where it was considered abnormal to deviate from this ideal family type and there were characteristics that came with this which were seen as socially acceptable. Children were seen as the outcome of a loving heterosexual couple and each person i.e. the mum and dad should have distinctive roles within the family. The mother should be concerned with motherhood and household chores. The father should protect the family and be a disciplinary role model, as well as their main role being defined as the breadwinner, this meaning they often bring in the most money. However there is more than one type of nuclear family. Another type could be that both parents work outside the home. More women seem to be concentrating on having a career before they have children and often needing the urge to get back to work a while after the baby is born. With the introduction of paternity leave and pay in April 2003, more and more men take this to enjoy time with their wife and new baby however there are restrictions which men must be liable for. These are have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing, be the biological father of the child or the mother’s husband or partner, have worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks ending with the 15th week before the baby is due. Paternity leave is only up until 2 weeks clearly indicating that the nuclear family is the ideal type as maternity leave is for 26 weeks paid and a further 26 weeks unpaid depending on the contractual rights of the workplace.

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     Although the UK is seen as progressive, the nuclear family type seems to be falling and statistics show that in some parts of the country, over 50% of children will be born into a unmarried family, in the North East alone this statistic was 54.1% in the last year. Having a secure family can also have an effect on the child’s education and social being. Education can be made easier if there are two parents, 2 times the help given and often 2 incomes helping towards funding i.e. money for equipment, uniform, school trips and the condition of ...

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