Topic 2- Family &household diversity


Topic 2- Family &household diversity

  • Myth of "Cereal Packet families" - Stereotype: Family is a nuturing and caring institution- Safe refuge from uncaring world, Ideal no. of children is 2, natural parents, 1st time marriages- Instrumental husband, Expressive wife

-New Right and Functionalists: Most desirable type of family

-Steretype promoted in advertsting

- Persistent myth: Best, Most desirable, most common family, found in family ideology

- Allan et al. - "Natural parents"- Married of oppsite sexes, biologocial parents of children


- Family diversity- New forms of relationships

- Continue to be important changes in family patterns

- Widley range of family types

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Topic 2- Family &household diversity

  • The Classic Extended family: An extended family sharing the same household 

-Functionalists-CEF has largely disappeared

- Lane, Spencer& McCready- CEF still found among small communities of travellers (gypsies)

- Traditional working class communities- Little geograhical social mobility, stay in same community, close- knit community, live close

-South Asian communities- Still common- Those who came in 1960s and 70s- Berthound- South asian greater numbers of children and multi generational extended family units- Source of strength & support

  • The Modified Extended family: An extended family living far apart, but keeping in touch

- Maintained regular contact & mutual support made possible by modern technology and easy transportation

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Topic 2- Family &household diversity

  • The "Beanpole" family: Multi-generation extended family, long and thin

-Several generations of older relatives- People live longer

- Britains ageing population, Couples have fewer children- Families getting smaller. Increase in the number of extended 3,4,5 generation families

  • Cultural diversity:

- South Asian families: Ballard- Extended family more common in ethinic groups-Patriarchal structure, Based on "old fashioned" values, Commitment to marriage, arranged- marriage, tight-knit families, husband is authortitive 

-Caribbean families: Berthoud- Family life based on "modern individualism", High levels of LP, More likely to separate/ divorce if married, low rates of marriage, marriage is one  lifestyle option- Unimportant

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Topic 2- Family &household diversity

  • Social class& Regional Diversity:

- Classic extended family is replaced with Privatized nucleur family

- Classic exteneded family is most found in working class communities

-Modified extended family found in middle class- Differences in income and wealth

- Older industrial areas- Most extended families

  • Growth in "single-hood"- Living alone:

- 1 in 3 households today contains 1 person compared to 1 in 20 in 1901

- Growth in no. of young people living alone: Decline in marriage, Rise in divorce, Growing individualisation (LATs), Less social stigma, Longer lives (pensioner), Women wish to pursue careers (geograhical mobility)

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