Do trends such as the emergence of the reconstituted family indicate the durability or weakness of the contemporary family?
In today’s world, cultures and traditions have changed and the modern individual is more educated and independent. As centuries passed by, the role of the family has also changed and with the factors such as globalization and everyday routine to implicate in our lives, this role has lost its important value. The traditional societies that use to be in the past are now over and the modern ones have taken their position. People nowadays are so busy in order to work and earn money that they cannot take the same care of their families as they use to do over the past decades. As technology and the way of life change, families evolve into something new into the society.
The last century men use to be the breadwinners in the house and provide everything in it. On the other hand, women were supposed to stay at home and take care of their children and husband. In the 21th century the role of the women also has changed, as they have more rights to work and vote. Moreover, modern business women depend on their selves and not on their husbands as they use to. As a result if they are not happy with their marriage, they are able to pay for their divorces. However, there are different types of families such as the nuclear, the extended, the reconstituted and the single parent which will be discussed in this paper. (Hakim, 2003)
First, the classic type that use to exist during the past centuries and mostly in the 1950s and 60s was the nuclear family. That means that the family is consisted by the married couple and their own or adopted children. This kind of family is found in almost all societies as it is the most popular. However, there are three different types of married nuclear families provisional on the working status of the parents. The first one considers the man to work and to be the ‘breadwinner’ of the household, while the woman stays at home and take care of the children. In the second type of married nuclear family, the woman works outside the home and the man cares for the children and the house. In the third and final type of nuclear family, both parents work in order to financially enhance the home.
Moreover, another type of a family is the extended. An extended family is consisted of two or more adults from different generations of a family, who share a household. This kind of family has more members than the parents and children, so it may include also cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. The extended family may live together for many reasons, help raise children, support for an ill relative, or help with financial problems. Sometimes children are raised by their grandparents when their biological parents have died or no longer can take care of them. Also, many grandparents take some primary responsibility for child care, particularly when both parents work. Extended families can be found in different societies all over the world. For this type of families there are three different kinds as well, which are divided into the first, second and third generations. Nevertheless, it is more likely for a nuclear family to become an extended family than any other family type. An example is that before the industrial revolution, families were really close knit in terms of community duties to relatives and were extended; this is even rarer in a developed nation such as Britain.