Post Modernism and Family Diversity

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  • Created by: Sam
  • Created on: 17-04-14 15:48

Post Modernism and Family Diversity

Argued there are 2 main problems with Modernists: 

  • Individuals make CHOICES about family life + relationships.
  • People have much GREATER CHOICE about this now, leads to greater family diversity. 

Life Course Analysis: 

  • Focuses on the meanings that people give life events + choices.
  • LCA has 2 strengths:  focuses on what family members themselves see as imortant. + suitable for studying families in todays society. 

Post modernists argue that we no longer live in a modern world, instead live in predictable, chaotic, postmodern stage. 

In this society families are fragmented+ individuals have more choice, over lifestyle/ arrangment of family. We now have lots of diferent family types. 

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Post Modernism and Family Diversity


  • In recent decades family+ marriage have been transformed by greater choice+ more equal relationship between men + women. 
  • This has happened because of : contraception, allowed sex+ intimacy rather than just for reproduction. Also women have more independance from feminism. 
  • Due to these changes, basis of marriage + family have chnaged into one where the couple are free to definw their relationship. E.g. cohabitation rather than marriage. 

Beck:  Risk Society, and Negotiated Family. 

  • Argues we now live in a risk society, tradition has less influence, people more choice
  • Today's risk society conflicts with earlier times, when roles were fixed, people less choice. E.g the expectation to get married. 
  • Post modern society has 2 key trends: greater gender equality, greater individualism. 
  • Led to new type of family, replacing patraichal family. Beck + Beck- Gernsheim call the 'negotiated family' . 
  • NF don't conform to traditional family types. Vary according to wishes of members, enter as equals.
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Post Modernism and Family Diversity


Identifies a shift in attitudes since the 1950's. 

Sexual morality is down to personal choice. 

At same time, church+ state lost power to influence people.

Growing acceptance of sexual+ family diversity in under 35's. 

More accpetance of cohabitation + homosexuality. 

Weeks still observes that family patterns stay generally traditional. 

Most people still live in a family, most children are brought up by couples, most couples marry, many divorced people remarry. 

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