Industrialisation & The Family

The March of Progress Theory

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Key Defenitions

Industrialisation= The mass production of goods in a ffactory system using mechanisation

Urbanisation= The growth of towns

Modernization= The updating annd improvement of something

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The Pre-Industrial Family

PARSONS suggested that the pre-industrial family was essentially extended, and that families lived and worrked together because of the fact it was the most efficient way to live.

By living together a whole number of functions could be carried out including:

  • An economic one in terms of the production of food
  • An educational dunction
  • A health function in terms of providing comfort and support

Evidence For a Pre-Industrial Extended Family

a) The Linage System- Lineages re kinship gorups derived from a ommon ancestor. Kinship groups are responsible for the production of goods and services and members are united by a network of mutual rights and obligations.

b) The 'Classic' Extended Family- KIMBALL AND ARENSBERG in their historical study of Ireland and found the family was Patriarchal and Extended.

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The Pre-Industrial Family (2)

Evidence Agianst A Pre-Industrial Extended Family

Peter Laslett research used historical documents. He usd English Parish Records from 1564-1821(Pre-Industrial), and clearly showed that only 10% of families during this period were extended.

The principal form of the family was actually Nuclear, Laslett provides 2 main reasons.

  • During this period of time life expectancy was short. An Extended family simply could not form.
  • People were already on the move in search of work, people had to move in a nuclear form in order to find employment. 

Laslett concludes- Industrialisation did not create the nuclear family, but the nuclear family created industrialisation.

However, MICAEL ANDERSON has shown through his own work that diversity was a norm during this period.

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  • The Pre-Industrial Family was Extended- PARSONS, ARENSBERG AND KIMBALL
  • The Pre-Industrail Family was Not Extended- LASLETT, ADERSON
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Willmot And Young's 4 Stages

Wilmott and Young traced the development of the family back to pre-industrial times up to modern day present family, depiciting the various stages. Using a variety of methods including social surveys and historical records.The following stages focus on the cchages made through the working class family.

  • STAGE ONE: The Pre-Industrial family(Lasted up until 1750)- Seen as a nuclear unit, all the family worked together as a team.
  • STAGE TWO: The Early Industrial Family(From about 1750 to 1900)- Family ceased to be a unit of production, since individual workers were employed as wage earners.
  • STAGE THREE: The Symmetrical Family(From about 1900)- Family is now isolated nuclear and share roles.
  • STAGE FOUR: The Asymmetrical Family(From about 1970)- Families returned to segreated roles
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  • Femenist have attacked the symmetrical family, question whether we are really living in a shared home, and whether maleand females have equal roles.
  • Has the fourth stage ocured? Are woman staying at home looking after the family?
  • Stage four research was based on 190 managing directors, is this a representative sample?  
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