Evolution of the Family in the 21st Century

Good Essays
The Evolution of the Family in the 21st century by L.S.Q.
Marriages decline & divorces incline

Where has the traditional family shifted to in the 21st century? Years gone by, families had meals together; today, meals are eaten on the run and the most important time for dialogue and sharing the day 's highlights; over dinner, is now non-existent, because parents have also become part-time students. Not too long ago, there was only one television in the home, it was an enjoyable experience to sit together and view television programs together; today there is a television in almost every room, computers with internet access, mobile devices where you can do instant messaging so you can stay where you are and communicate, in addition to a entertainment so that children almost never leave their rooms.
As an institution, the family has constantly evolved, shaped and adapted to social changes, and although families have much in common, there is no longer such a thing as a typical family in the 21st Century. When people talk about the family, undoubtedly many think of the “conventional” nuclear family. However, stereotypical images of mother, father and children rarely holds true to modern families. The family, which has undergone a major transformation from the past generation, is poised to continue to change even more as time progresses. Family and household structures are becoming more diverse with co-habitation, common-law arrangements, single parents and gay adoption all becoming increasingly common types of family units in the world today.
Modern day families come in all shapes and sizes – divorce, remarrying, single parenting, out-of-wedlock and a number of other variables have turned the nuclear family into the exception rather than the norm. Even within the modern nuclear family, homemaker and breadwinner roles have evolved into something that makes it impossible to have one specific definition for family. As a matter of fact, the



References: <http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2064593/families_of_the_21st_century_are_not.html?cat=25> (accessed 20/6/11) <http://chronicle.uchicago.edu/991202/families.shtml> (accessed 20/6/11) http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2710299/family_values_in_the_21st_century.html?cat=25> (accessed 20/6/11) <http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/6507/Families-and-Television.html> (accessed 20/6/11)

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    When it comes to family, there was no way to define such a word. Post-modern society has allowed for the diversification of the family structure, bringing today’s society further away from the idea of the ‘ideal’ family.…

    • 2995 Words
    • 12 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The traditional family structure in the United States is used to be considered as a family support system involving two married people providing care for their family. However, the traditional family structure has become less common as we head into the 21th century. The changes among families in America has shifted to very powerful changes, including divorce and single-parent families, teenage pregnancy, and same-sex marriage, and increased rate of adoption. Social movements such as advanced technology, longer life spans, the freedom of increasing the use of birth control, women’s increasing engagement into the workforce, and a dramatic increase in divorce rates have restructured the American family’s life nowadays.…

    • 259 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Dh3N 34

    • 1243 Words
    • 5 Pages

    This essay will discuss the “modern family Structures” within society and explore the lack of any “normal” or standard family. Using existing sociology perspectives this essay will further discuss modern behaviours, experiences and life chances within a specific family unit and how they fit the existing theories. Finaly the author will evaluate the usefulness if any of these theories and how they can be used in a coherent manner to explain the impact they have on a family unit and in turn what impact the family has on the individual.…

    • 1243 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Sociology 210 Unit 4 IP

    • 1273 Words
    • 6 Pages

    for some of the problems that plague our society today. She identifies some important and significant changes within the family structure since the 1960’s. Further, she includes factors that are responsible for this change. Finally, she expounds on the balance, and if in fact families are becoming weaker or simply different? She cites evidence to support her claims, and she proposes her opinions on what she feels will strengthen the family.…

    • 1273 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Family Diversity

    • 2460 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Even as family scientists and sociologists dispel our mythology of family with facts, we cling to the Ward-and-June-Cleaver vision of the way we were and ought to be. In truth, we never were as perfectly shaped as we thought. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just 43 percent of families in 1940 were "traditional" in the sense that they had a working father and a homemaker mother and, of course, well-rounded children. Today, less than 20 percent of American families fit nicely into this shape and two-income marriages are now the norm (Otten). Others are blended and step-parent families, single-parent families, and extended families. Still united by the common threads of shared experience and, in the best of circumstances, shared…

    • 2460 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Many sociologists argue that the nuclear family is a universal and dominate institution however there has been an increase in diverse family types for various reasons. Examples of these diverse families are lone parents, reconstitutions and cohabitation families. Although most people experience life in a nuclear family, it represents only a stage in their life cycle. Social and demographic changes have meant that an increasing part of many people’s lives are spent in households that are not based on conventional nuclear families.…

    • 1762 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Social Policy

    • 2140 Words
    • 9 Pages

    In today’s society, there are many different family structures and these structures are interpreted differently depending on the individual. There are five main ‘types’ of family structures and these can change throughout the life span of the family.…

    • 2140 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    2. Stanley, Tim. (2012) History Today, The Changing face of the American Family.Vol. 62 Issue 11, p10-15. 6p.…

    • 591 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Diversity In Counselling

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Families and family relationships are overwhelmingly complex, with unconventional networks of relationships built up as a result of marriages, divorce and separation, remarriage, and combined families. Whilst the definition of ‘family’ is multiplex, people are always conscious of their connections to others, whether good or bad, and some of these connections carry more weight than others (Carsten, 2000). Family structure is both culturally and socially located (Oltedal & Nygren, 2014). It is defined by gender, education and marital status (Wall & Gouveia, 2014) and shaped by governmental policies: the social problems of one era set the agenda for the next (Shanahan, 2005). For many, the concept of ‘family’ is based around the group of individuals…

    • 930 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In today’s world traditional families is not what you usually see anymore. You usually see a single mother or fathers taking care of their kids or you see biracial couples together. Sometimes you see a grandmother/grandfather or aunt/uncle raising the children because their parents simply cannot do so. Or occasionally you will see a lesbian/gay couples raise their family as while. 21st century compared to the 20th century is different now. The 20th century is more traditional type families where the mother stayed home did motherly duties while the father was out working to provide for his family. Whereas the 21st century is more nontraditional type families because now and in days both parents work and the kids are usually in school or a babysitter watches them till the parents come home. So for this assignment I picked two…

    • 747 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    A conventional nuclear family consists of a traditional setting. A husband, wife and one or more children living together under the same roof. As such, the customary breadwinner would be the husband, while the wife is responsible for the housework and the emotional welfare of the children. But in today’s society, a nuclear family is seen as one of many family types in modern day society. There are some sociologists that say the nuclear family is and should remain the norm, while others argue that society these days is simply too diverse to have only one type of family.…

    • 453 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    This essay will discuss family structures within modern day society and examine the lack of a “standard” family environment. It will also explore theories and perspectives concerning behaviours, experiences and life chances within specific family units. In conclusion the author will assess if these theories can be used to explain the impact they have on the family unit and the impact the family has on the young person.…

    • 1477 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    The family is a universal institution present in every society throughout the world. For many, the family seems a familiar and comfortable institution, but this can appear in many different forms. A particular type of family is the ‘nuclear’ family; this consists of parents and children living together in the same household. The ‘conventional nuclear’ family comprises of a married man and woman with their biological children living together, this type of family is often dubbed ‘the cereal packet family’ where the male is the breadwinner and the female a homemaker. Another family type is the ‘extended’ family which includes all kin beyond the nuclear family e.g. Grandparents, Aunts or Uncles etc. Other family types include; Patriarchal families, Reconstituted or (step) families and Loan Parent Families, all of which are alternatives to the traditional nuclear family.…

    • 1279 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the past, traditionally families have mostly been the ‘traditional nuclear family’ made up of a married man and woman and at least one child. However there has recently been a decline in the amount of traditional nuclear families and an increase in the amount of diverse families. There are now less people following the traditional view that the nuclear family is the ‘normal’ way to live. The diverse families now include families such as, lone parent families, reconstituted family, extended family, lone person households, cohabiting couples and same sex couples. In this essay I will discuss the view that the traditional nuclear family has decline as a result of the growth of family diversity and the reasons why people are no longer following past tradition. Cohabitatiion is an arrangement where two people who is not married live together in an intimate relationship, particularly an emotionally and/or sexually intimate one, on a long-term or permanent basis. Before 1970, cohabitation was illegal in certain countries e.g. America. Due to a change in the law, Cohabitation is now a common pattern among people around the world, as well as sex/birth outside of marriage, leaving at least 50% to 60% of coupless cohabitating, starting from the late 1990âs. This leads to the amount of traditional nuclear families decreasing as people want to live in companionship as nearly half the amount of marriages end in divorce, also cohabiting is an easier way as its much cheaper and doesnt cause much hassle. The New Right see the decline of the traditional nuclear family and the growth of family diversity as negative trends in modern society.…

    • 757 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Recent scholarship has demonstrated that diversity and change have been the only constants in the history of the American family. Far from signaling the family's imminent demise or an erosion of commitment to children, recent changes in family life are only the latest in a series of disjunctive transformations in family roles, functions, and dynamics that have occurred over the past three centuries.…

    • 3941 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Good Essays

Related Topics