Asses the view that the growth of family diversity has led to the decline of traditional nuclear family. Family diversity relates to the types of families created by people’s decisions and choices. There are many sociological perspectives for and against the growth of family diversity. New Right being one of the main sociological perspectives have a political view on society of values, they are against the growth of family diversity because they believe in the traditional family rules. The traditional nuclear family is defined as the ‘cereal packet family’; this is created by the media and adverts and is very stereotypical. A family in the media is portrayed to be always together having breakfast and consists of a father, mother and a couple of children.
Social policies such as marriage, divorce, welfare, domestic violence and children abuse have affected the family. Social policies are changing all the time due to views and laws changing.
The legalisation of same sex marriages and contraception has had a great effect on the growth of family diversity. Contraception has allowed couples to control the amount of children they want, therefore the number of cohabiting couples have increased by 2% and sex before marriage has become much more socially accepted. Same sex marriage means that if they have an adopted child he/she will lose out on either a male or female role model. This is not seen as a ‘’nuclear family,’’ and increases family diversity. Life expectancy is also increasing, people are living longer therefore over 65s are divorcing at a much higher rate.
Divorce rates have increased and are becoming higher due to it being much easier to process today. The increase in divorce has led to lone parents.
Women are earning more money than men in many situations and are becoming much more independent. They aren’t relying on a male figure to provide for a family; instead they are living alone creating a higher percentage of single people households, woman living alone has become more socially accepted. Children don’t come cheap, with rising payments for taxes, gas and food; it is much more affordable living alone.
Secularisation has had a huge effect on the growth; religions have slowly accepted the changes of views and laws.
The Rappaports argue that there are five types of diversity which are organisational, cultural, class, life course and cohort. Rhona Rapoport believes that the nuclear family isn’t true and that different classes have different family types. More affluent classes will be able to pay for nannies or boarding schools; this means children are brought up differently to those who can’t afford these situations. There will be different relationships between the children and their parents. With regard to social class relates to differences between families.
During the family life cycle there will be many other family types that the child will be a part of, for example a nuclear family once they are married and have children. The most common family type is married couples without dependent children in 1996 and has risen by 0.1 million in 2012 at 7.6 million families. The least common family type in 1996 is cohabiting couple families with dependent children at 0.6 million. In 2012 the least common family is lone parent families without dependent children at 1 million.
Robert Chester believes that the single parent families normally came from nuclear families which then remarry and become a nuclear family again. Most will marry the person they cohabit with. He believes the extent of family diversity has been exaggerated.
The New Right have a political view on society’s values. Therefore they see that the growth of family diversity as a negative trend in modern society. They believe this is the cause of many social problems in Britain today, due to the decline of traditional nuclear families. Charles Murray is a conservative thinker; he believes