Family Diversity Essay, Research Paper
In modern Britain post WW2, the amount of the diverse families has grown due to changes over time.
The invention of the pill, allowing both men and women to file for divorce without having to prove adultery and even religion not playing such an important part in peoples lives meant that changes in the family structure became more acceptable. Before this time it was the norm to be a part of a nuclear family.
The nuclear family; the father financially supporting the family and the mother (have to be married) looking after their children and their home, functionalists argued provided all the necessary factors needed in life.
However more family structures have become overtime. Reconstituted and lone parent families are becoming more common, gay and lesbian families are becoming more acceptable in today´s society and in Asian areas around Britain, extended families are also growing. Even people who are unable to have children themselves, adoption or fostering is more available due to the decline in orphanages and is looked at as another family structure in society. Rapoport and Rapoport studied what they believed to be the 5 elements of diversity in Britain.
Organisational diversity; different kinship patterns and different roles in family structures such as dual-working families was one of the elements. Culture diversity; peoples religious beliefs and ethnic background was another element they believed to cause family diversity, as a specific religion will class certain members of the family as one role and this may differ from even neighbouring families because of religious differences.
They found that depending on age of people in families also altered the structures of the family. An example of this is if you are a young member in a family network, you are a lot more dependent on your elders closest to you than an adult starting their own family. This was known as the lifecycle diversity.
The fifth element of diversity they believed to cause diversity in families is cohort diversity. They found that the state the society was in politically, economically etc at the time of families growing would cause differences from families that were formed earlier in time. Eversley and Bonnerjea also studied diversity in families looking particularly at regional diversity and also came up with elements that cause diverse families.
Like Rapoport and Rapoport, they also believed that cultural and ethnic beliefs and backgrounds caused differences in families.
They also discovered that regional differences caused diversity. They found that the most common family structure in the South of England were 2 parent families (nuclear if with children), strong kinship family networks were found in rural areas where as in the cities more lone parent families and the ethnic minorities families were common. They also found high levels of elderly in coastal areas. Although the statement saying ‘family structure is typified by diversity´, has been proven by these 2 examples, Robert Chester criticises it.
He believes in the neo-conventional family which hasn´t changed much since the 50s and doesn’t feel that the nuclear family is the most important structure or tat everyone will always be apart of a nuclear family such as widows and newly leaving home people. Kierman and the Wicks believe that the nuclear family is dominant in Britain but that the nuclear family is dominant in Britain but that many individuals will be part of or experience, know or meet many different family types and structures. So in conclusion, although the nuclear family is still around and popular in modern Britain it has been slightly adapted to changes both in society and in the house.
As Britain is such a multi-cultural society with different races, religions and sexualities there are many more diverse families and with society how it is today most people accept the diverse structures. The families today are mainly typified by diversity.