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Changes In Character And Structure Of The Family Sociology Essay

In this article I will explain the different constructions and tasks within a family group unit, from pre-industrial to modern day. I will include statistical facts to returning up these changes. I am going to then evaluate the consequences of these changes and give an evaluation of family diversity now and in the future and exactly how it affects population.

What is a family group? This question has been raised by many sociologists, with the majority of these having a variety of different viewpoints. The answer to this question is; "The family is a communal organization that unites people in cooperative teams to oversee the bearing and raising of children. " (Macionis 2001. P336)

During pre-industrial times (pre 1750), the family unit which been around was the prolonged family. This sort of family mostly contains different generations of members of the family who all worked well alongside one another on the land and supported the other person in terms of household tasks, childcare and economic wellbeing. However this kind of family product changed drastically with the professional revolution (1800-1900) with the release of mechanical method of development and factories. When these factories exposed in the places, many family members streamlined and became nuclear households which generally consisted of parents and children within a unit. The emergence of this kind of family was mainly due to individual members of the family gaining wages independently somewhat than as a collective device. However for many families this posed problems in terms of the sharing of home and childcare duties. Because of this, the adult man of the home would venture out to work to give the family (patriarchal role) and the adult woman was expected to stay at home and become responsible for family members chores, childcare and producing the future workforce (instrumental role). Of these times as soon as the children reached six or seven they would be sent out to work in the factories and down the coal mines to bring money into the family home. However this caused higher mortality rates because children weren't as strong as parents. These mortality rates commenced to decline through the first part of the twentieth century because of the emergence of the modern commercial family. However, over the years and in many young families children have started to be observed as children rather than as a working member of the household. The interactions between parents and children have grown to be stronger which has led to households becoming more child centred.

Towards the middle of the twentieth century a fresh kind of family commenced to emerge, although mainly regarded as a nuclear family with two years of parents and children, another view of the family was of your symmetrical family, because the women of the home were beginning to be offered opportunities in education which led to more women working beyond your home in offices, factories and other places where until recently only men were seen to work. This led to a change from segregated roles to conjugal jobs where the household tasks and childcare were distributed among the family.

The family is changing. The 'typical' family headed by two parents has been through substantial changes during the last century. There's been a rise in the amount of single-person households scheduled to the people getting divorced or not engaged and getting married whatsoever. Fifty years ago this might have been socially unacceptable in Britain, as when couples got wedded they stayed committed, as divorce was not only frowned upon but very expensive. However in the last fifty years not just have society's attitudes changed but also the price of getting a divorce has been reduced substantially which includes allowed many couples to be financially capable of applying for and being granted a divorce. This has led to more people getting divorced and occasionally remarrying which brings about a new kind of family framework 'the reconstituted family'. Corresponding to Taylor et al (1995) "this type of family is now more prevalent in population, with an estimated six million people living this way". This is supported by proof from the Country wide Census (2001) that has put this amount at around 8% of the populace of England and Wales. However there are still a majority of divorced and unmarried parents who like to stay as lone parents because of the introduction of taxes credits, child gain and income support and development of the welfare system that was first launched in 1942, that provides a wide range of services designed to help parents look after their children. Information from the Country wide Census (2001) confirmed that in 1971 lone parents accounted for approximately 7 % of the population in the uk which increased to 22% in 2001. These information demonstrate a greater acceptance and understanding of contemporary society today.

As people and homes have started to change because the early commercial times, so gets the functions and functions within the framework of the family altered as well. When families migrated to the cities to work, they lost the ability to share the local and childcare obligations among other family. This function was taken over by the newly formed specialised corporations (NHS, education and welfare systems) which were being introduced within the locations to support the growing workforce. Parsons (households and households category handout) calls this process 'structural differentiation', Parsons believes that after these introductions, the family was kept with only two functions that have been the 'primary socialisation of children' and the 'stabilisation of adult personalities'. However other sociologists like Fletcher (1966) and Shorter (school handout 2009) deny Parsons promises, and suggest that before these corporations were developed, the essential functions of the family weren't carried out and children were often neglected and abused because of the high rates of poverty which encompassed many households. Therefore the development of these establishments was a step in the right path for the advantage of all families who have been poverty stricken.

In today's post society, evidence suggests that as social tendencies are changing, so is the family, in conditions of Britain learning to be a diverse and multi social society. J. E. Goldthorpe (1987) 'found that among British 'Asian' individuals he identified some common characteristics similar to that of the pre-industrial family over fifty years ago: men have the expert over women (patriarchal), parents have control over the kids (teaching of the norms and prices), people were extended usually in multigenerational homes whereby cover, childcare, careers and the support of each other was distributed', (Harris S. 2008. p49).

When we say family diversity we mean the difference or variance within the family composition. In Britain today there is a range family types, with diverse inner collection ups within contemporary families which indicate the changing dynamics of British society: Organisational refers to the family structure e. g. single parent, nuclear, prolonged, beanpole etc. Another type is social diversity. Britain is a multi-cultural world which relates to differences in life-style of different ethnic origins and spiritual values. The Afro-Caribbean family has the stereotypical view to be a one mother or father household which is commonly mother-centred. South Asian households have a tendency to be lengthened, traditional and patriarchal.

So what are the consequences for the average person and society? The issue of whether or not changes of the family are good or bad is debatable. The consequences for children in today's society has recommended less socialisation at home credited to not only the go up in single parent households but also in the homes where both parents go to work and childcare is taken over by playgroups, nurseries and academic institutions.

As societies change, so does indeed the family framework. Major changes such as an increase in divorce, the reluctance to marry or re-marry, homosexuality and the escalated approval of cohabitation. Some people reject the on-going changes as catastrophic to family norms and beliefs, while others watch these new fads as evolutionary and intensifying. However family changes have not been triggered by moral decay, but by specific demographic, monetary and communal changes. Contemporary contemporary society often wants highly mobile sets of workers who'll go where in fact the jobs are. Since there is no single universal family form that satisfies everybody, family members must most probably to revision and change. Society has already established to readjust to continuously evolving structures and new attitudes. It is through this technique of structural, value change and adaptation to these changes that the modern 21st century family is rising.

To conclude this article I assume that since pre-industrial times there were a lot of changes to the family through major sociable, economic, ethnic and technological styles that have been underway for most decades. However, whether these changes helped bring onward are positive or negative will depend on the individuals point of view.

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