Modernism and Family Diversity

Modernism and the nuclear family. 

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  • Created by: Sam
  • Created on: 17-04-14 15:07

Modernism and Family Diversity

  • Modernism includes perspectives of Functionalism +  mainly the New Right. 
  • They see modern society as being predictable, and clearly fixed.
  • They see the one best family type - the nucear family. - All other family types seen as abnormal, even deviant as they cannot perform the functions required of a family.

The New Right: 

  • Have a conservative + anti-feminist view of the family. 
  • Firmly opposed to family diversity
  • See nuclear family as natural, a place for refuge, contentment + harmony. 
  • The argue that the decline of the nuclear family + growth of family diversity causes many social problems. E.G. higher crime rates. 
  • They see lone parent families as unnatural + harmful, esepecially for children. 
  • Lone mother cannot discipline children properly + burden on welfare state. 
  • Boys don't have a male role model, results in delinquency and threatens social stability. 
  • They disapprove of women working, as they should be caring for the family. This should be their priority. 
  • They see marriage as essential basis for a stable environment for children. Cohabitation + divorce creates instability- has negative effect on children. 

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Modernism and Family Diversity


  • Unlike the traditional family, Chester describes the neo-conventional family. A dual earner family where both spouses go to work. 
  • He argues that most people aren't choosing to live in alternatives to nuclear family on a long term basis.
  • He also says the nuclear familt still remains the ideal that most people aspire to. 

The Rapoports:  5 types of family diversity

  • Unlike Chester they seem family diversity as important in understanding family life today. 
  • We have moved away from traditional nuclear family to a range of different types. Family diversity gives more freedom of choice.
  • Unlike New Right, they see family diversity as a response to people's needs and as quite normal.
  • 1.  Cultural diversity: different cultural, ethnic and religious groups have different family structures. 
  •  2. Generational diversity: older/ younger generations have different attitudes. E.g. views about cohabitation. 
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