Changes from the extended family to the nuclear family:
- Parsons argues that the structure of the family has changed over time in order to fit with the changes which occured in societies. An example of this is the change from a pre-industrial society (consiting of farming, land working, etc) to an industrial (factories, etc) society.
- The extended family was extremely useful in pre-industrial times as a wide range of functions were required to be carried out such as childcare, houseowrk, looking after the elderly and working the land.
- Parsons suggested that the changes from the extended family to the nuclear family occured due to 2 reasons:
1.) The workforce in industrial societies needs to be geographically mobile (able to relocate to a chosen location).
2.) Living in a society that's increasingly based on achieved status could cause conflict between generations within an extended family.
- Parsons further argued that there was a change in structure from the extended family to the isolated nuclear family. Although, social relations still exist and these occur by choice rather than by obligation.
- There are 3 key advantages to the isolated nuclear family: