Are Friends the New Family

Topics: Single person, Family, Sociology Pages: 2 (524 words) Published: September 16, 2012
Are friends the new family?

As the word ‘family’ has a different meaning to each individual, it is hard to universally define it without any cultures/ groups disagreeing. However, it is sometimes easier to define it by not what it appears to look like, but what it does, for example, loving, caring and supporting. But is this not the role of friends too? With only 1 in four people living in a heterosexual, two parent families, and one in three living alone, this is a far cry away from only one in six living alone in 2001. So why is it that romantic partnerships and the idea of having a family of your own are declining and single life with living alone are becoming more popular, rapidly?

Since 1919, when the ‘Sex Disqualification Removal Act’ was brought in, women now can access the same jobs and salary as men. As there has been a decrease in the fertility rate due to women more work orientated, this has altered the amount of people starting a family and sticking to the traditions by which I mean the male is the dominant role in the family and they are the breadwinner, where the mother stays at home completing childcare and housework. However, as women are seen to have become so much more independent, they are able to support themselves and a child, without having to have the once compulsory paternal role in their live. So is this the reason for why many believe that friends are as or more important than your initial family?

Today’s generation are forming ‘Urban Tribes’- a community of friends who live and work together and proved support as much as an extended family would. With 1.8 million people living alone in Sydney, Australia, these and most are inclined to join a living community than stress over whether or not they will end up with a traditional family of their own, despite social commentators and traditional parents not approving of what is seen to be the growing norm. However, many believe that in order to survive in our modern world,...
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