changing patterns and family diversity

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  • Created by: kle1234
  • Created on: 28-03-16 14:13
40% of marriges end in divorce. 70% of divorce petitions com from women. 6x more than 50yr ago. several reasons for this.
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legal changes in divorce
in the 19th century divorce was almost imposible. legal changes in 20th century ade divorce easier; equalising grounds between the sexes (1923), widening the grounds and cheeper divorce.
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less stigma attatched to divorce
divorce used to be stigmatised, churhes used to condem it. stigma declined rapidly since 1960s. made divorce better accepted. couples morewilling to divorce to solve their problems. divorce is now more common, normalising it.
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the decline in the influence of reigion on society. Wison - religious institutions and ideas are losing infuence.
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Higher expectations of marriage
functionalists, such as Fletcher, argue higer expectations lead to higher divorce rates. linked to ideology of romantic love; marriage is now based on love not duty or economic factors like in the past.
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functionalists & divorce
argue high rate of re-marriage shows divorcees haven't rejected marriage
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divorce & changes in womens position
more women now in paid work & lone parent welfare benefits now available so women are less economically dependent on husbands. women becoming wage-earners creates new source of marital conflict-at work treated equally, at home had tripple shift.
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fewer first marriages- changing attitudes (less pressure) alternatives (cohabitation) womens economi independence (gives freedom not to marry) impact of feminism (some women see it as patriarchal institution) rising divorce rates (put some off)
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trends in marriage
more re-marriage (rise to serial monogomy), later marriage (the young spend more time in education so cohabit first), fewer church weddings (due to secularisation)
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1.5million couples in england and wales cohabit. this is due to less stigma attached to sex-outside marriage and womens improved economic position-dont need financial security of marriage.
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reasons for cohabitation
trial marriage-cohabitation before marriage now the norm. an alternative to marriage-couples who se marriage as patriarchal may opt for cohabitation as a more equal relationship.
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civil partnerships and same-sex relationships
now greater acceptace. moves towards legal equality. policies treating all couples more equally.
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argues acceptance is leading to more stable relationships among gays.
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40% of children born outside of marriage. 5x more than in 1971. main reason-increase in cohabitation.
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lone parent families
1/4 of all families. numbers tripled since 70s due to increased divorce & decrease stigma. 90% are female headed-belief women suited to expressive role.
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new right view on lone parent families
blame generous welfare benefits for encouraging the increase & creating a dependancy culture.
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reconstituted of step families
increasing due to divorce & remarriage. account for 8% of families with children. mostly children are from womans previous relationship. at higher risk of poverty as may have to support children from other relationships.
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ethnic differencs in changing family patterns - more black lone parents
49%, white make up 23%, Asian 11%. may be the legacy of slavery, result of high male unemployment or black women valuing independancy highly.
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ethnic differencs in changing family patterns - larger Asian households
due to cultural importance of the extended family & need for support when migrating. however, most are nuclear families
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Perspectives on family diversity
changing family patterns leading to greater family diversity
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family diversity
the idea there is a wide range of family types rather than just the dminant nuclear family.
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functionalist perspective of family diversity
modernist sociological perspective. sees conventional nuclear family with biological based division of labour as uniquely suited to the needs of modern idustrial society & all family members
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the new right perspective of family diversity
political rather than sociological perspective. had a considerable influence on gov polices. takes concervative view on family & opposes diversity. nuclear family is the norm. other family types are unnatural & produce social problems.
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Chester: the neo-conventional family
nuclear family remains dominant. only change from conventional (only male works) to neo-conventional (both spouses work-like the symmetrical family). cohabitation is temporary. stats on household composition just a snapshot.
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The rapoports: five types of diversity
rapoport & rapoport- see diversity as central to the family today. diversity meets people's needs. five types of diversity; organisational, cultural, class, life cycle differences, generational differences.
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Orgnisational diversity
eg. joint or segregated conjugal roles.
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cultural diversity
eg. ethnic groups have different family structures.
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class diversity
eg. differences in child-rearing practices
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life cycle differeces
eg. pensioner couples, parents with young children
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generational differences
eg. in attitudes to cohabitation
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Postmodernism and family diversity
no dominant family type- because now more choice in reationships, leading to mor diverse structure.
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contraception & womens indipedence brought greater choice & equality to relationships. couples can now define relationships to suit their own needs.
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Beck: risk society
people have more choice so are more ware of risks-making choices involves calculating the risks. patriarchal famil undermined by; greater gener equality & individualism (self-interests govern our actions).
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Beck: the negotiated family
equality & individualism are created a new family type-which is not fixed but varies according to members wishes-more equal but less stable as more focus on individual needs & individuals can leave if needs arn't met.
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Postmodernism Vs the new right
reject new right view that nuclear family is the only genuine family type. argue diversity is good-allows choice in relationships/enables women to escape oppression. Family covers different forms, whatever those involved call family is family
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legal changes in divorce


in the 19th century divorce was almost imposible. legal changes in 20th century ade divorce easier; equalising grounds between the sexes (1923), widening the grounds and cheeper divorce.

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less stigma attatched to divorce


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Higher expectations of marriage


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