Outline and Evaluate Postmodern Views on the Diversity of Family Life
Postmodern sociologists support the view that family has become diverse in contemporary UK. They see that people have become fragmented and identities are more individualistic, meaning everyone is different and let them be. Family life is different for everyone. Stacey (1996) says that the family no longer progresses through a range of stages. Meaning everyone is diverse, and that there is no longer a dominant type of family. This is similar to the Rapoports view of stage in life cycle diversity. Which says family life is different for newly-married couples who do not have children than for those who do have children.
The key to the postmodern view of the family is choice. As times have moved on, people are looked down upon less for certain things and therefore have less of a threat to act upon their choices. Single parent families for example. As 40 years ago, the nuclear family was the norm. One person caring for the children by themselves was frowned upon, as people thought this person could not provide as well as 2 parents could, economically and emotionally and domestically. This is where choice comes in. Roles are now much more negotiable. This is demonstrated clearly in gay and lesbian relationships. There are 2 people of the same sex, therefore roles are very negotiable. There is no way of following traditional roles, so it’s peoples choice of which role they take on to provide for the family. For example both men may go to work, while a nanny is caring for a child. Then they may both come home, and take care of different domestic chores. This is Waters (1996) argument, which says it’s a matter of choice in the contemporary UK.
Within class boundaries and cultural diversity, postmodernists would deconstruct the view that middle-class families bring up their family one way, and working-class families do it another. With different norms and values involved.