Identify and explain two ways in which the extended families are IMPORTANT in the contemporary UK (17)
An extended family contains kin beyond the nuclear family. It includes the vertical extension, a 3rd or 4th generation such as grandparents or great grandparents, or a horizontal extension such as cousins or aunts/uncles. Willmott and Young believed from historical data that the extended family was the most dominant before being replaced by the nuclear family. Financial stability is important for a family to function and many families rely on older generations of family for the financial support, this could be a grandchild looking to a grandparent for a loan to buy a house, because the bank has refused to give them the money for the mortgage. Without this extended family support a child would not be able to be independent and own a house. This applies to many other situations as well for example looking to older generations to pay off a student loan. Brennan would support this theory as he found in 2003 that grandparents play an important part in the contemporary family, including giving financial support. Another important role of the extended family is to provide emotional support for each other. McGlone, using survey findings from 1996, supports this idea as he said contact with relatives for this type of support was still frequent. Emotional support can include, but is not limited to, consoling a child or grandchild through a loss of a relative or friend or taking care of them when they are ill or injured. Janet Foster found that most adults were happy to live only streets away from parents/grandparents making it easier to go to them in times of illness or when in need of financial support however other sociologists argue that a family member will most likely always turn to another family member or relative from an older generation in times of crisis, despite the distance between them, proving that distance is not a factor that breaks down the...
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