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Family Diversity An online learning resource from

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1 Family Diversity An online learning resource from

2 What is meant by diversity? Some sociologists are very critical of the “New Right” view that there is only one ideal type of family structure (nuclear family of heterosexual married couple with traditional roles), and suggest instead that family life in the UK is diverse – this means there are a range of family types

3 Whatever happened to the nuclear family? 25% of all households comprise of people living alone and this is rising 27% of all households are married people without children In working class communities dispersed extended family arrangements still exist (kept together by modern communications) New family structures have emerged such as Cohabiting families, Lone Parent families, Reconstituted families, and Homosexual families.

4 Cohabitation As marriage has declined and divorce rates risen, the numbers of couples living together or cohabitating has also risen For woman aged 20-24 cohabitation rates increased from 1981-1990 from 6% to 16% Nearly 40% of babies born to unmarried women are born to women who are cohabitating with the father of the child

5 Why Has Cohabitation increased? Giddens (a post modernist) suggests marriage is less relevant in modern society and less important in terms of economic security. Giddens also suggests that female attitudes to sexuality is responsible – fidelity less important because of women's movement and contraception

6 Lone Parent Families The lone parent family is one of the most common family structures in modern society – 1 in 5 children now live in one parent families. Only 10% of lone parent families are headed by the father Between 1970 and 1990 the numbers of lone parent families doubled in the UK

7 Reconstituted Families These are families in which children from former relationships are brought to a new family relationship Over 1/3 rd of all families are now Reconstituted mainly as a result of rising divorce rates

8 Ethnic Minority Families There is considerable diversity amongst ethnic minority families Afro Caribbeans have a high rate of female headed lone parent families Pakistani, Chinese and Bangladeshi origin families are more likely to be extended.

9 Homosexual Families The numbers of homosexual families (where parents are either gay or lesbian) is rising. It seems inevitable that as society becomes more tolerant this trend will increase

10 Conclusion It seems likely that very soon over half of all children will live in non traditional family arrangements Lesson Home

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