Outline and Evaluate the View That Modern Family Life Is Characterised by Diversity Essay
Identify and explain two types of family diversity in the contemporary UK? Family diversity means that there are many different types of family in society today not just nuclear, cereal packet families. Sociologists describe different forms of the family, the two types of family diversity I’ am going to talk about are the Nuclear Family and Ethnic Minority families. Nuclear family – this family consists of: Parents and children, the adults assume responsibility for the children who are either their own or adopted.
An ideology presents a partial picture as being normal. Therefore and ideology of a particular type of family, such as the nuclear family, presents that family type as being the most acceptable way of being, Sociologists also sometimes talk about ‘the cereal packet family’ (Leach 1967) – a certain type of nuclear – this refers to the image most people hold of the family. It is also the picture of the family that the media tends to present, especially in adverts.
The cereal packet family comprises of: parents and children, the woman is a housewife and full time mother and the man is the ‘breadwinner’ i. e. he is the one who has to go to work to earn money. Ethnic Minority Families South Asian Families, people coming to live in Britain from other countries has helped create greater diversity in the family, the increase in the number of South Asian families in Britain has contributed to an increase in the number of vertically extended families. (this means that the family has three different age generations in it, e. . grandparents, parents and children. ) West Indian families West Indian households in Britain tend to have a higher number of lone parent families headed by the mother than other ethnic groups. The term for this is matriarchal (this means a female dominated family). West Indian lone parent families tend to have strong support networks amongst their female relatives. We need to remember though that not all South Asian and West Indian families are like this, they also have diversity of family types.
It would appear from the evidence presented that there is no one typical family type in Britain. Most sociologists believe that family types are becoming increasingly diverse. In conclusion although the fact that most sociologists say that family is becoming more diverse, most people would still describe the nuclear family which consists of a married couple with children. It is the most common type of family, although sociologists argue that it is under threat. As with all types of family, there are both positives and negatives to consider.
Positives include: The New Right argues that the nuclear family is ideally suited to teaching a child moral decency, Functionalists believe that the nuclear family is the one best suited to the wider needs of society (i. e. one person goes out to work, the other stays at home and looks after the children). Negatives include: Feminists argue that the wife is exploited in a nuclear family. By staying at home she becomes little more than an unpaid servant and carer, and another is the nuclear family can consist of emotional blackmail and verbal / sexual abuse. This is sometimes called the ‘dark side of the family. ’