Reasons for the increase in one-parent households: A significant proportion of lone parent families are elderly people who are widows, due to increase in life expectancy there are a growing number of elderly people living alone. Rise in divorce rates has allowed people who were originally married to settle on their own. Increase in geographical mobility mainly graduates who live on their own to look for employment before finding a partner. More employment opportunities for women means they are able to afford to live alone.
Households: one or more people
sharing accommodation, living and
eating together, a household can
contain people who are not related
to each other and are financially or
Tends in the family size have changed due to birth rates and fertility rates. The reason for the long term decline in family size, birth and fertility rate. 1) Changes in gender role,
women choose to have fewer children and delay
childbearing as there has been improved contraception,
increased women with paid employment after marriage so
women delay childbearing to fit it around their careers.
greater legal equality, Equal pay act, this made working
more worth while.
Over the years marriage have decreased significantly, the
decline in marriage may be due to change in social
attitudes in which marriage is not seen as socially
desirable, secularisation and an increase in cohabitation.
Cohabitation has increased significantly over the years, a
survey showed that in 1979 in the UK there was 3% of the
women cohabiting but by 2005 there was 12%. Patricia
Morgan (2003) sees cohabitation as a trend and that
marriage is going out of fashion, she believes that it
represents an increase in the number of sexual partners.
she says that cohabitation couples stay for a shorter time
than married couple, however Joan Chandler (1993)
disagrees and believes that cohabitation is a relatively
stable alternative to marriage.
Marital breakdown involves the failure or the
ending of marriage this could involve. Divorcethe legal ending of marriage Separation- The physical separation of the couples so they live
separately 'Empty shell' marriages- Husband
and wife live together and remain married but
the relationship has broken down
Functionalist like Willmot Goode (1971)
believe that conflict between couple have
increased because the nuclear family has
become more isolated, placing a burden
on the husband and wife who have very
little support from relatives
Garham Allan and Crowe
(2001)believe marital breakdown
increased because the family is less
likely to be an economic unit making
it easier for couples to split up.
Coli Gibson (1994) links increased
marital breakdown to modernity. He
says that competition and free market
economy has emphasised on
The ease on divorce Divorce has become more
socially accepted Gibson believed secularisation
is a reason for an increase in divorce Gibson also
argues that society lacks shared values.
Nuclear family: consists of two
generation the parents and the
children. A heterosexual couple
married with 1-2 children.
The feminist Barrette and McIntosh
(1982) criticize he idea that the nuclear
family is the only satisfying way to live.
Most sociologist believe that there is no
one single dominant family type in the
UK and this is not seen as a bad thing.
supporters of the increase in diversity
such as Robert and Rapoports see
diversity as a good thing as it gives
individuals the freedom to choose how
to live their lives.
Functionalist Ronald Fletcher (1966)
believed that the divorce rate has
increased because people attach more
values to marriage than in the past and
so if marriage is unsatisfactory people
would have a divorce as they hold a lot
of value for marriage.
Extended family: A family of three
generations or two generations with
relatives from at least...
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