Outline and evaluate the view that families in the UK are increasingly diverse (33)

Topics: Family, Extended family, Nuclear family Pages: 4 (1479 words) Published: February 24, 2014
Outline and evaluate the view that families in the UK are increasingly diverse (33) Families are becoming increasingly diverse in the UK because of changing norms and values in society. Postmodernists highlight that people are free to choose the family type that suits them best therefore allowing for harmonious relationships in society. On the other hand Functionalists are against family diversity and argue that a family that does not fit the nuclear model creates instability. A traditional view of the family is held by Functionalists. Functionalists favour the nuclear family which Murdock identifies as ‘a social group characterised by common residents, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children (own or adopted) of the sexually cohabiting parents.’ Leach describes the nuclear family as the cereal packet family because it is seen as the ideal family of a Functionalist society. Parsons identifies the nuclear family as having a strict division of roles between the two parents. Their roles are segregated where the man has the instrumental role of being the breadwinner. Then his wife has the expressive role with domestic and childcare responsibilities. Similarly the New Right favour the nuclear family and pinpoint this family as the best family for raising children. However the nuclear family is not the most common family type in the UK today. This can be seen in the statistics that show 20% of households in the UK are made up of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 1.5 nuclear family. Furthermore only 5% of the UK lives in a traditional nuclear model. A different interpretation to the Functionalists is the Postmodernists. They highlight that family types are flexible and people are free to choose the family type that suits them best. Families are much more diverse in the UK today than they were 50 years ago. The Rapoports identify five distinctive...
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