Changes in Family Types in the Modern World

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Sociology Exam Question

Examine the changes in the family types in the modern world. There are reasons why there are changes in the family types in the modern world. For example, these include things like decisions upon divorce, marriage and having children and also because of the new rights for women and what they can do. One reason for change in the family types in the modern world is because less people are getting married. The marriage rate is decreasing all the time. Since there is diversity among groups of people living in Britain, there are different statistics for marriage based on the ethnicity. For example, Berthoud found that Afro Caribbean people are the group least likely to get married – only 39% are married of all those in Britain. Feminists such as Wilkinson believe there was a gender quake which is where females no longer prioritise marriage and children; education and careers are more important. Smith says that marriage creates unrealistic expectations about monogamy and faithfulness in a world characterised by sexual freedom. Radical feminist Campbell says that another reason women don’t prioritise marriage anymore is because marriage benefits men more than women. Another reason for change in the family types in the modern world is because of divorce. Because of the Divorce Reform Act 1969, divorce was easily granted for reasons such as ‘irretrievable breakdown’. The divorce laws are changing so much that people can divorce so quickly after being married that it is called a ‘quickie’ divorce. Compared to 1938 where there were only 6,000 divorces and in 1970 (one year after the Act) there were 60,000 divorces and increasing more and more. This shows that people were more than likely in marriages they didn’t want to be in but since they couldn’t get divorced easily back then they would have to live in an unhappy family. There are people who are separated but still married and this has an impact on the family as it makes children have to live...
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