changes of family trends

Powerful Essays
Topics: Family, Sociology
Discuss some of the changes and trends in family life in Britain over the last 50 years and outline two different sociological perspectives on the family

This essay will discuss some of the changes and trends in family life in Britain over the last 50 years. In order to do this, this essay will firstly define what is meant by the term family in this context. It will then go on to describe the main family types including the nuclear family, the extended family, cohabiting family and more. The family has changed over the years, the main change being the decline in the traditional nuclear family, the reasons of which will be discussed within the main body of this essay. Other changes of family types will also be discussed along with explanations and arguments of why these changes have occurred. Sociological perspectives on the family intend to shed light on the purpose of the family within society, this essay will outline and discuss two perspectives – one being functionalism and the second being social interactionism. Finally, this essay will come to a conclusion of the research into the changes and trends of family life in Britain.
“A family is a group of persons directly linked by kin connections, the adult members of which assume responsibility for caring for children.” (Giddens, 1997) This definition also includes the kin connections through marriages which leads to step families. In today’s society there are a huge diversity of family types, these include:-
The nuclear family - a household where the parents are married and they live with their biological children.
Extended family – a family which consists of three or more generations, grandparents, parents and children living in the same household.
One person household - one adult living alone without any other family members.
Cohabiting family – a family where the parents are not married, live with either biological or step children.
Lone parent family – this can be either the mother or the father



Bibliography: Barkan, SE. (2012). Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World. Washington: Flatworld Publishers Chambers, D. (2012) A Sociology of Family Life. Cambridge: Polity Press Family Policy Social Centre. (2009). Changing Family Structure. Retrieved November 17th, 2013, from http://www.fpsc.org.uk/ Giddens, A. (1997). Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press Hill, M., & Irving, Z. (2009). Understanding Social Policy. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell Meng, B. (2008). The Effects of Divorce on Children. Retrieved Novemeber 16th, 2013, from http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2009/12/the-effects-of-divorce-on-children.html Office of National Statistics. (2012). Families and Households, 2012. Retrieved Novemeber 16th, 2013, from http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/families-and-households/2012/stb-families-households.html Parliament.uk. (2013). Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Retrieved November 17th, 2013, from http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/marriagesamesexcouplesbill.html

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