Family Diversity

Explaining what is family diversity, has it happened and is it good or bad.

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  • Created by: Shan
  • Created on: 07-01-11 13:25

What is family diversity?

Family Diversity: The idea that there is more types of family, rather than the single dominant Nuclear Family.

Chester: Neo conventional family - Dual earner family. 
- Robert Chester (1985) reconises that there has been some increased family diversity in the recent years. Unlike the New Right  he see diversity as Insignificant nor a bad thing. 
- Chester argues that the most important change is a move from the dominant Nuclear Family to what he decribes as the Neo- conventional family.

By conventional family, Chester means the Nuclar family that is a dual earner and shares the domestic labour between the expressive and instrumental roles.

Q. Does Chester see diversity as good or bad? Has diversity happened?
.  Chester does not see diversity as a significance, nor does he think of it in a negative perspective. He also thinks diversity has not yet happened.


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Rapoport & Rapoport five types of family diversity

Rhona and Robert Rapoport (1985) argue that diversity is centre importance in understanding family life today. They beleive that we have changed from the traditional Nuclear family to a range of different types.

Original Diversity - refers to the differences in the ways family roles are organised. For example some couples have a dual earning and joint conjural roles, while others have segregated roles and a one wage- earner.

Cultural Diversity - different cultural, religious and ethnic groups have different family structures. For example their is more female headed families among the African- Carribean households.

Social class Diversity - differences in family structure are partly the result of income difference between the classes, there are class differences in child rearing practices,

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Rapoport & Rapoport cont.

Life-stage Diversity - family structures differ according to the stage reached in the life cycle - for example, newlyweds, couples with children, retired couples whos children have left home and widows or widowers who live alone.

Genrational Diversity - older and younger generations have different attitudes and experiences that reflect the historical period to which they have lived in. For example they may have different views on divorce or cohabitation.

Q. Does the Rapoprts see diversity as good or bad? Has it happened?
The Rapoports say that family diversity is a good thing because of the greater freedom available for people, they also believe thaty family diversity has happend.

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The New Right

The New Right - have a conservitive and anti feminist perspective on the family and strongly oppose family diversity.

- Like Functionalists the New Right see the  Nuclear family as the only acceptable type of family. They strongly oppose other types of diversity and feel the Nuclear Family with instrumental and expressive roles is natural and is the only type of family that is beneficial.

- The New Right also sees lone- parent families as unnatural and harmful, especially to children because of the loss of male authoritive figure resulting in no dicipline and are a burden for the welfare state.

- Feminist Ann Oakley (1997) argues that the New Right wrongly assume that  husbands and wives' roles are fixed on by biology. Cross cultural studies show great variation in the roles men and women preform within the family.


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New Right cont.

Q. Does the New Right see diversity as a bad or good thing? Has it happened?
A. The New right see Family Diversity as a very bad thing and they also say it has not yet happened. If this should happen it would be disasterous.

Giddens: Choice and equality.
Anthony Giddens (1992) argues that in recent decades the family and marriage has been transformed by greater choice and a more equal relationship between men and women. This is because:
           Contraception: has allowed sex and intimacy rather than reproduction to become the main reason for the families existance.
Women have gained independance: as a result of feminism and because of greater oppotunities in education and work.

As a result the basis of marriage and the family has changed into one in which the couple have the freedom to define their relationships to themselves, an example would be couples choosing to cohabit than marry.

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Ditsy Ninjaa

thanks ^_^

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