Assess sociological explanations of the nature and extent of family diversity today

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Assess sociological explanations of the nature and extent of family diversity today. (24 marks)

In today's society, there are various alternatives from the typical family type. The top examples of these are lone-parent, cohabitation and reconstituted. But there are also some others such as same sex couples, single parent and multi-cultural families. There has been a decrease in the number of nuclear families in the UK and an increase in various other families such as single parent families. But the raise in single parent households has to do with the increase in divorce across the UK which means that more people are left having to support their children on their own unless they become a reconstituted family.

Functionalists are classed as modernists when it comes to their opinions on family diversity in post-modern UK. But they also see modern society as clear-cut, fixed and predictable. They think that the best and strongest family type is the nuclear family. The main functionalist who is focused on is Parsons. He came up with the functional fit, which is where pre-industrial society and the extended family changed into industrial society and the nuclear family. He also believes that the nuclear family meets all of society’s needs the best unlike any of the other diverse family types which society has to offer. Functionalists see all other family types as inadequate, abnormal or deviant. This shows that they don’t think that any other family type other than the nuclear family will benefit society and help to achieve the best it can. Functionalists also believe that there is no need for family diversity on society. They also feel that families such as single parent or same-sex families are inadequate or abnormal because they are only able to provide one side of the learning structure which a child needs when it comes to socialization because they don’t have the influence of a mother and a farther and they will only know how to fit in with either men or women

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