Sociology- The extended family today

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 15-03-19 14:26
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  • The extended family today
    • What?
      • According to functionalists, the extended family is the dominant family type in pre industrial society, but in modern industrial society is replaced by the nuclear family
      • Charles 2008 study of swansea found that the classic 3 generation all under one roof is now extinct.
      • Willmott 1988 argues that the extended family exists as a dispersed extended family where relatives are geographically separated but maintained frequent contact
      • Chamberlain 1999 study of Caribbean families found that, despite not being geographically dispersed, they continue to provide support
        • Described them as multiple nuclear families with close and frequent contact
      • Bell 1968 research in Swansea found that both WC and MC families had emotional bonds with kin and relied on them for support
        • MC had more financial help from father to son
        • WC more frequent contact and more domestic help from mothers to daughters
    • The beanpole family
      • The beanpole family is a particular family type that Brannen 2003 describes as long and thin
      • Extended vertically through three or more generations
      • Not extended horizontally through aunts and cousins
      • Result of two demographic changes
        • Increased life expectancy means more surviving grandparents and parents
        • Smaller family sizes meaning people have fewer siblings so less horizontal ties
    • Obligations to relatives
      • Finch and Mason 1993 found that over 90% of people had given or received financial help
        • Found this was more expected off of females rather than males
      • Cheal 2002 argues when it comes to household tasks a systematic set of rules exist for deciding who has the greatest obligation to assist
        • When help for caring for an elderly relative is needed, daughter or daughter in law is preferred.
      • Mason 2011 found that particular obligations women feel towards their relatives and what other responsibilities they have that would give them legitimate excuses not to be involves
      • Finch and Mason found that the principle of reciprocity or balance is also important as people felt that help received should be returned


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