The Nuclear Family

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  • The Nuclear Family
    • Key Features
      • Young and Wilmott (1973)
      • Extended family play less of a role
      • Relationship between husband and wife becoming more equal
        • Equal distribution of housework
    • 'The continued importance of the nuclear family'
      • Theorists such as the New Right, argue that the nuclear family is in decline - perceive this as a 'moral decay'
      • 12.3 million out of 18.2 million families consist of of a married couple with or without children
        • An increasing number of nuclear families consists of parents whose children have left home or are still at home
        • In 2013, over 3.3 million adults in the UK aged between 20 and 30, still lived with their parents
          • Could be due to the increased cost of living, saving up to buy a house or the dependency on their parents and importance of childhood in society
          • More likely to be men than women
    • Which theorists favour the nuclear family?
      • New Right
        • Stress the importance of conventional roles for men and women (instrumental and expressive roles)
          • Argue that only the nuclear family can perform these traditional roles correctly
      • Functionalist's
        • Murdock
          • The family performs four essential functions for society
            • - Stable satisfaction of the sex drive
            • Reproduction- crucial for society to work
            • Socialisation of the young
            • Meetings society's economic needs
        • Parsons
          • The functions of the family depends upon the society it is
            • Extended
              • Fits needs of a pre-industrial society
            • Nuclear
              • Fits the needs of an industrial society
    • Which theorists oppose the nuclear family?
      • Feminists
        • Family is oppressive to women - 'takers of ****'
        • Ann Oakley
        • Women now perform a 'dual burden' or even a 'triple shift'
        • Women experience abuse and exploitation in the family
      • Marxists
        • Women are commodities in the family
        • The family feeds capitalism - through being a unit of consumption
        • Private property




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