Family Structure Changes

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Changes in Family Structure

During the past few decades there have been major changes in the structure of the family. A family used to be represented by a married couple with children, generally of the same race and living under the same roof. The traditional family was known for its stability and unmarried people were considered to live a life of loneliness. Numerous people today still believe that the nuclear family is the best for raising children and even the media and television portray the best situations with the traditional family. Studies show that people in Canada and all around the world are freer than ever before to establish the kinds of family relationships that best work for them. More and more people choose to stay in long-term common law relationships rather than to get married. People in the 21st century also choose to have fewer children than the previous generations. They want to focus more on their careers and be financially stable before they decide to settle down. The divorce rates are also very high, it is estimated that half of all marriages will end up in divorce.[i] Canadians wait longer than did their parents or their grandparents to establish their own families and only 38% of couples with children are legally married.[ii] We now see different types of families in our society such as nuclear families, single-parent families, extended families and childless families. There has even been a growing movement in the number of countries that support same-sex marriages. People in the 21st century marry later in life or choose not to marry at all. Women focus on developing themselves to better their lives before getting married and having children. More and more people feel the need to “live their lives” while they are still at a young age. In the 1970’s women and men used to marry when they were around 23 and 25. Now they’re 28 and 30, five years older.[iii] Women are becoming more independent, they don’t feel that...
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