Topic 5: Changing family patterns (notes)

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  • Changing family patterns
    • Divorce
      • Changing patterns of divroce
        • Since the 1960s the divorce rate has increased
        • Doubled in 1961-1969 and again in 1972
        • 1993=180,000
        • 2001=157,000
        • 40% of marriages will end in divorce
      • Reasons for increase in divorce rate
        • Changes in law
          • Making divorce cheaper
            • 1949 - Legal aid available
          • 1923 - Equal for men and women
        • Declining stigma and changing attitudes
        • Secuarisation
        • Rising expectations
        • Position of women
          • More likely to be in paid work
            • 47% (1959) - 70% (2005)
      • Meaning of high divorce rates
        • The New Right
          • Undermines the tradition of the nuclear family
          • Creates welfare dependent females
        • Feminists
          • Women are breaking free from the patriarchal nuclear family
        • Postmodernists
          • Giving individuals the freedom to choose
          • Greater family diversity
        • Functionalists
          • Doesn't prove that marriage is a social institution
          • Result in higher expectations of marriage
    • Partnerships
      • Marriage
        • Fewer people are marrying
          • 2005 - 170,800, less than half in 1970
        • More re-marriages
          • 2005 -  4 out of every 10 are re marriages
        • People are marrying later
          • 2005 - 32 for men and 30 for women
        • Couple s are less likely to marry in church
        • Reasons
          • Changing attitudes
          • Secularisation
          • Declining stigma
          • Position of women
          • Fear of divorce
      • Cohibitation
        • Over 2 million cohabiting couples in the UK
        • Expected to double again in 2021 just like in 1986
        • Reasons for the increase
          • Decline stigma (sex before marriage)
          • 88% of young people said it's okay to live together with no intentions of getting married
          • Increased career opportunities for women - no longer need to depend on men
          • Secularisation- those without a religion were more likely to cohabit
      • Same sex relationships
        • STONEWALL
          • 5-7% of the adult population
        • WEEKS
          • increased acceptance
      • One-person housholds
        • 2006 - almost 30% of households
          • Nearly 3 times as much than in 1961
        • Half are people of a pensionable age
        • Reasons
          • Increase in divorce
          • Decline in numbers marrying
          • STEIN
            • 'creative singlehood'
        • Living apart together
    • Parents and children
      • Childbearing
        • Over 4 in every 10 children are born out of marriage
        • Women are having children later
          • 27.3 (2005)
        • Women are having fewer children
          • 1.84 (2006)
        • More women are remaining childless
        • Reasons
          • Cohabitation
          • Women are having children later - less firtile
      • Lone-parent families
        • 24% of families
        • Over 90% are headed my mothers
        • Children are twice as likely to live in poverty
        • Reasons
          • Increase in divorce
          • Women = expressive role
        • Welfare state
          • MURRAY
            • Over generous welfare state
            • 'Perverse incentive'
    • Ethic differences
      • 2001 - 92.1% of the UK were white
      • Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi
        • 3.6%
      • Mixed
        • 1.2%
      • Black Caribbean
        • 1%
      • Black African
        • 0.8%
      • Chinese
        • 0.4%
      • Black families
        • Higher proportion of lone-parent households
          • Slavery - children would stay with the mother
      • Asian families
        • Sometimes contain 3 generations
          • Extended families
        • BALLAD
          • Extended families provide support
    • Extended family today
      • PARSONS
        • Extended family = dominant in pre-industrial times
      • May have declined but not disappeared
      • CHAMBERLAIN
        • 'Multiple nuclear families'
          • Close-knit families
          • Middle class - financial help
            • Fathers and sons
          • Working class - domestic labor/help
            • Mothers and daughters

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