Nuclear Family

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Asses the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm

There is controversy between sociologists concerning the idea that the nuclear family is no longer considered ‘normal’ in this modern age. The contrast of theories from sociologists causes issues when attempting to find out whether the nuclear family is a norm or not; despite the increased divorce rates. The nuclear family was common during the late 19th century and consisted of two generations; parents and children.

However, the nuclear family has been declining over the last 30 years and now makes up approximately 25% of UK families. This decrease has paved the way for family diversity which has been welcomed greatly by Rappoport and Rappoport (1982) who first identified that the nuclear family was no longer holding majority of family type and that all families should be accepted. The couple argued that diversity is a positive factor of society due to the notion that stigma would lessen to non-traditional families.

The emancipation of women also plays a part in the decreasing number of nuclear families due to many women deciding to put their career first. Feminists view the family as serving the needs of men and oppressing women whereas the Marxists argue that even diverse families are exploited due to the fact that both parents must hold down jobs to support children if they are no longer in a relationship.

Despite the notion that family diversity is increasing, Ann Oakley (1982) has provided evidence that the advertising industry usually depicts what Leah (1967) called the cereal packet type family to aid in selling products as people idealise the stereotypical and traditional family. This idealisation has been proven by Chester (1985), as he stated that diversity had been exaggerated due to the fact that single parents return to the nuclear family when they become reconstituted.

Allan and crow (2001)

The idea of family diversity suggests that in any one era, no particular...
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