Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm. (24 marks)
In this essay I will be assessing the view of different sociologists concerning the question ‘is the nuclear family no longer the norm?’, from this essay I should be able to conclude if it is in fact still the norm or not.
First of all, in 1969 the Divorce Reform Act was put into place which enabled people to get a divorce easily compared to before. With this law people could simply say that the marriage wasn’t working out and straight away they could get a divorce, this had an impact on both family structure and society. After this law there was an increase in lone parent families, cohabiting and even same sex couples, this was because it started to be more socially acceptable and married couples didn’t have to be forced into a relationship if they weren’t happy. However, The New Right did not like the idea of having lone parent families, they said that lone parents (mostly mothers) cannot discipline their children properly and are a burden on the welfare state as they need to claim benefits due to the fact that they are not working so they can’t support their children. Conservatives see marriage as the essential basis for creating a stable environment for bringing up children, so I don’t think that they are very happy with the fact that family diversity is such a big deal in our society nowadays as they have a very traditional view.
Similarly to The New Right’s view, Chester in 1985 claimed that people aspire to be in a nuclear family because that is the way that most people in the UK have been brought up, he also claimed that most people live in a household headed by a married couple and will most likely be the head of a nuclear family in the future. He believes that the nuclear family is the ideal type of family where the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is the housewife who’s in charge of housework and emotional support, this is ideological because it means that both...
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