Family Diversity

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  • Families & Relationships
    • Families & Household types
      • Nuclear families: A family consisting of an adult male and female with one or more children. (adopted as well)
      • Extended families: A family containing relatives in addition to the nuclear family.
      • Lone-parent families: Lone parent (either gender) with dependent children.
      • Reconstituted families: A family formed out of another relationship, otherwise known as a step-family.
      • Same-sex families: Same sex couple living together with children.
      • Non-family households: People living together who are not married or with children. (University houses)
      • Beanpole families: A multi-generational extended family, there are many different generations within the family but they have few siblings in each generation.
    • Reasons for family diversity
      • Demographic changes
        • Birth rates: Measured in relation to the number of live births per thousand of the population per year.
        • Family size: 7.7 million families with dependent children in the UK in 2012, 1 in 7 of which had 3 or more dependent children.
        • Ageing Population: The UK has an ageing popyulation/ Families are increasingly characterised by multi-generational bonds beyond the household.
        • Age of marriage
          • The age of marriage has increased for several reasons: - more couples are cohabiting - changing social norms and attitudes - extent of education for women
        • Age of childbearing
          • Women have more freedom of choice in late modernity and many are exercising this by choosing to remain childless or at least to delay having children.
      • Trends in marriage : Since the early 1970s the number of marriages has declined, the average age at which couples marry has increased and an increasing proportion of marriages are remarriages.
      • Trends in cohabitation: According to ONS, the percentage of people aged 16 or over who were cohabiting steadily increased from 6.5% in 1996 to 11.7% in 2012.
      • Trends in divorce: In 2011, the UK had a divorce rate of 2.1 per 1,000 all adults.
    • Family Diversity
      • Social Class
        • Most children will follow their parents into a similar class position in society; most working-class children will go into working-class positions and middle-class to middle-class.
          • Bordieu (1973) calls 'cultural capital' - forms cultural knowledge that can help their children to do well in education and fit in better in the higher levels of society.
      • Ethnicity
        • People's family life is not determined by their ethnicity; however, there is also considerable evidence that the cultural values associated with different ethnic minorities in the UK influence the way people within them organise their families.
          • African-Caribbean families: Caribbean immigrants brought very different traditions of family life when they migrated to Britain from the 1950s onwards.
      • Sexuality
        • There is greater acceptance of same-sex relationships which has led to the emergence of new types of families and intimate relationships.
        • In 2012 there were 2,893,000 opposite sex couples in the UK and 69,000 same-sex couples.

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