CHANGING FAMILY PATTERNS

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Changing Family Patterns

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ramsz001.312
Created by ramsz001.312 over 5 years ago
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CHANGING FAMILY PATTERNS
1 WHY HAS DIVORCE INCREASED?
1.1 LEGAL CHANGES - divorce is now easier, cheaper and the grounds have been equalised between sexes. In 1949, legal aid was introduced to make it easier for couples to get divorced
1.2 DECLINING STIGMA - the decline in stigmatisation and condemning from the church has made it more acceptable to get divorced
1.3 SECULARISATION - the decline of religious influence in society. According to WILSON religious institutions are losing influence.
1.4 HIGHER EXPECTATIONS OF MARRIAGE - Functionalists such as Fletcher argue that higher expectations are leading to higher divorce rates which is linked to the idea of romantic love
1.5 CHANGES IN WOMEN'S POSITION - more women are now in paid work, lone parent benefits are now available which makes women less economically dependent on their husbands. Hochschild argues that at work women now feel valued whereas at home they feel frustrated at their husbands lack of housework.
2 WHY HAS THE MARRIAGE RATE DECLINED?
2.1 Changing attitudes
2.2 alternative family structures
2.3 economic independence
2.4 Impact of feminism
2.5 rising divorce rates
2.6 more re-marriages or people are marrying later
2.7 There are now fewer church weddings
3 THE INCREASE IN CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS AND SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS - there is now greater acceptance moved towards legal equality and policies treating couples more equally. However, Cheal argues that some couples fear the legalisation of gay marriage will mean less equal relationships.
4 LONE PARENT FAMILIES - these account for a quarter of all families which has tripled since the seventies because of increased divorce rates and the decline in stigma of births outside of marriage. The New Right believe that this is undesirable as it undermines the nuclear family and creates a lone woman who is dependent on the state. Murray argues that there is an overgenerous welfare state which provides an incentive to have children you cannot provide for. There are now more black lone parent families, this may be due to the legacy of slavery, high male unemployment or black women valuing independence.
5 RECONSTITUTED OR STEP FAMILIES - These have increased due to divorce and remarriage. They now account for 8% of all families with children who are most commonly from the woman's previous relationship. They're similar to a nuclear family but are more likely to be in poverty. Allan and Crow argue that these families can create a divide in loyalty.
6 COHABITATION - the increase in cohabitation is due to a declining stigma in sex outside of marriage, increased career options and secularisation. Chester argues that cohabitation is part of getting married and it is a trial period. Bejun argues that if it is permanent it is trying to create a more equal relationship.
7 One person households- an increase in one person households is due to an increase in divorce especially in men under 65 and a decline in marriage- 'creative singlehood' as well as older widows. Duncan and Philips argue that living apart together (LATs) is not abnormal.
8 Childbearing has decreased. This is because of an increase in births outside of marriage(declining stigma), women are having children later as their careers are being put first which has led to smaller families. There are women who remain childless.
9 Extended family- Charles argues that 3 generations under one roof is 'all but extinct'. Wilmott argues that it does exist but as a dispersed extended family. Bells argues that middle class it is usually financial between fathers and sons, whereas the working class have more frequent contact between mother and daughter. It provides practival and emotional support, for example through phone calls.

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