Topic 2a - Family Diversity

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  • Created on: 24-02-14 13:19
'Nuclear' or 'Traditional' family households consisting of a couple with their dependent children living in their own home has been predominant since at least the late 16th Century. Household composition has transformed in recent decades.
There is much greater organizational diversity in families than is usually claimed or preferred by governments and this is further increased by differing ethnic, regional or social class patterns.
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Married Couple Families - The number of married couple families decreased by 457k between 1996-2012 to 12.2m in 2012. This reduction is statistically significant. It's also consistent with both the decrease in nunber of marriages since early 70s and
the statistically significant increase in opposite sex cohabiting couple families between 1996-2012 from 1.5m to 2.9m.
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Lone Parent Families - the number of 1 parent families with dependent children in the UK tripled from 2% of households in 1961 to 7% in 2003. There are approx 2m lone parent families in britain making up about 25% of all families. Its estimated a 3rd
to a half of children will spend some time in a 1 parent family. 90% of single parent families are female headed.
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2 main groups: 1.) 60% of these are ex-married (divorced, separated/widowed) 2.) Those who have never been married. Most are ex-cohabitees & are probably best described as 'separated'.
Only 3% of lone parents are teens. The average age is 34. The social & economic situation of many 1 parent families is very disadvantageous. This is a consequence of a great majority of single parents being women & working class.
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Single Person Households are becoming more common. The proportion of 1 person households rose from 18% in 1971 to 29% in 2005. 1 in 3 households are now single person households. 3 Main groups of single person households.
1. Older people who have been widowed or live alone. Increase in this group is due to an ageing of the population. 2. Young single people in their 20s and 30s yet to marry. 3. Divorcees in their 40s and 50s - most who remarry.
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Stein interviewed single individuals aged 25-45 and they recognised being single helped with career opportunities as they could concentrate 100% to work and made avalible a wider variety of sexual experiences and promoted overall freedom and autonomy
Wasoff analysed data between 1991-2002 to exam how the situation of people living alone changes with time. They found only 7% remained living alone throughout the whole period. They argue this suggests transitions between solo living and living with
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others is commonplace and that the boundaries between solo living and family are living are frequently crossed.
Ethnicity/Cultural Diversity - Berthoud argues the families of carribbeans/whites/south asians can be placed on a continuum with those characteristed by old fashioned values on 1 end and those charactirised as modern individuliasm on the other.
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He argues family relationships are moving from ofv to mi.
Same Sex Families - Weeks et all states that during the past generation the possibilities of living an openly lesbian & gay life have been transformed. The 2005 civil partnership allowing same sex couples to marry signifies official sanction of same
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sex persons heading families. In 2k7 Catholic adoption agenices were denied government funding after they refused 2 work with same sex couples seeking to adopt. In recent decades, gay & lesbian households have become much more commonplace. The number
of opposite sex cohabiting couple families has increased from 1.5m in 1996 to 2.9m in 2012. The number of dependent children living in opposite sex cohabiting fams doubled from 0.9m to 1.8m over same period.
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Weeks et al say that homosexuals and lesbians look upon their households and even their family networks as chosen families. Gottman found that adult daughters of lesbian mothers were just as likely to be heterosexual than heterosexual mothers.
Dunne argues children brought up by homosexuals are more likely to be tolerant and see sharing and equality as important features of their relationships with others.
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There are 3 main ways social class impacts families. 1. There's different patterns regarding marriage and divorce. m/c tend to marry later and w/c tend to marry younger. 2. Some evidence class affects roles. m/c families are more likely to be
symmetrical meaning m/c women are more likely to have paid work outside the home and m/c men are more likely to help with domestic chores. 3. Some suggestions that parent-child relationships may differ between classes.
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Key Study - The Rapoports. -The rapoports identify 6 distinct elements of family diversity in britain. 1. There's what they term 'cultural diversity'. There are differences in the lifestyles of families of different ethnic origins and different
religious beliefs. One of the major adv of living in a mult-ethnic society is the contribution different ethnic groups make to diversity in society.
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2. Are differences that result from the stage in the life cycle of the family. Newly married couples w/o children may have a different family life than those with children. This refers to the way families may change through life.
3. Organizational diversity. This means there's variations in family structure, household type, patterns of kinship network & differences in the divison of labour within the home.
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4. Cohort refers to the periods @ which the family has passed through different stages of the family life cycle. Cohort affects the life experiences of the family.
5. The Rapoports suggest there may be differences based on social class between m/c and w/c families in terms of the relationship between husband and wife and the way children are socialised and disciplined.
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Some sociologists argue m/c parents are more child centred than w/c parents. They take a greater interest in childs educ and pass on cultural adv though attitudes, values & practises.
Sexual Diversity - There have been a number of studies of homosexual couples & children. Studies of couples suggest that relationships between partners are qualitatively different from straight partners in terms of both domestic and emotional labour
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as they aren't subject to gendered assumptions about which sex should be responsbile for this task. There may be more equality between partnets. It's also suggested same sex couples work harder @ relationships in terms of committment as they face so
many external pressures & criticisms. Research also indicates they may face the same problems as heterosexual couples in terms of domestic violence.
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Card 2

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the statistically significant increase in opposite sex cohabiting couple families between 1996-2012 from 1.5m to 2.9m.

Back

Married Couple Families - The number of married couple families decreased by 457k between 1996-2012 to 12.2m in 2012. This reduction is statistically significant. It's also consistent with both the decrease in nunber of marriages since early 70s and

Card 3

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to a half of children will spend some time in a 1 parent family. 90% of single parent families are female headed.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Only 3% of lone parents are teens. The average age is 34. The social & economic situation of many 1 parent families is very disadvantageous. This is a consequence of a great majority of single parents being women & working class.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

1. Older people who have been widowed or live alone. Increase in this group is due to an ageing of the population. 2. Young single people in their 20s and 30s yet to marry. 3. Divorcees in their 40s and 50s - most who remarry.

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Preview of the back of card 5
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