How Has Industrialisation Changed the Nature of the Family?

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How has industrialisation changed the nature of the family?

Industrialization is considered as one of the main reasons for the family shifting from extended to nuclear. Families began to relocate from more rural areas to more suburban areas to find work. This was mainly due to the fact that plenty of factory based work where available in the cities. This eventually led to urbanisation, as families began to move away from small villages and into large urban areas. After this shift every aspect of daily life was influenced because of industrialisation. Functionalist such as Talcott Parsons (1951) believed that the effect of industrialisation led to multifunctional extended families, transforming to isolated nuclear families. This was because the government reduced or took over certain functions that the family would normally carry out which reduced the need for a wider kinship network. This included education, as more schools were opened, it took away the need for the parents to home school the children, thus allowing more time for them to work. So Parsons found a distinct change in structure within the family. He concluded families living in industrialised societies reduced in size because functions moved elsewhere. This was due to the need for geographic mobility and because status came through their own talents and skills not through family identification.

Murdock stated that the family caters to the sexual needs of its adult members and also to maintain stability it limits sexual access of other members of society. The ‘reproductive' function relates to bearing and raising children. The family provides the society with new members and assume responsibility for raising them. The ‘educational' function that Murdock refers to, can also be termed ‘socialisation'. The family has the responsibility of teaching their children a positive way of life, norms and values. This function is an important one as, without culture, the society could not survive, and too...
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