Family diversity is the idea of a range of multiple different family types, rather than one dominant family type, the nuclear family. The Nuclear family is a family which entails of a Mother a Father and two children which is portrayed in various different ways to be the most suitable family structure. However in today’s society there are various alternatives from the typical family type, most commonly lone-parent, cohabitation and reconstituted. There is also same-sex couples, single parent families and multi-cultural. 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.
The Functionalists and the New Rights view increased family diversity as ‘a serious threat’. Functionalists and the New Rights tend to have very traditional opinions on family diversity, they believe that anything that deviates from the nuclear family is negative and unnatural and individuals raised in different family types will not have the stability necessary to make them valuable members of society. Functionalist Talcott Parsons believes there is a ‘functional fit; between the nuclear family and society and believes other family types are inadequate, abnormal or deviant since they are less able to perform the functions required of the family. Functionalists view there is no need for family diversity. The new right firmly oppose to family diversity and there is only one correct family which is the nuclear family in a patriarchal society.