Does a typical or ideal family/household exist in modern British Society?
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It is hard to define what a family is because it is an issue on which people hold different views. Their views can be influenced by many motives like their religion, the society they are living in, media and many other things.
However, according to dictionary a family is, a group consisting of parents and their children living together; also a group of people related by blood or marriages.
All the descendants of a common ancestor including aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins.
Nowadays people think differently about a family. There are four typical types of family
1. Nuclear- This is the traditional family which is now more common in society.
It is more frequently represented in media today: Husband, wife and children living as one unit.
2. Extended- The extended family consists of several generations living in the same household with several other relatives living nearby.
3. Reconstituted (step) – It is a type of family where Children are brought up with one step parent. It is a situation where one of the parent has re-married.
4. One- Parent- This family type is found when a couple is separated due to the increasing number of divorces. Many Children are brought up with only one of their parent who decides to live with his/her Children without marrying again. It is usually the mother who is found in these cases.
The idea of a ‘typical family’ is changed during the last fifty to sixty year.
The importance of a family has decreased and this is due to the changes occurring in society.
People now prefer to live alone rather then living with families. They prefer being independent. However there are still some families in Britain who live as a whole unit with their ancestors but mostly don’t like living together.
Family division is now common. In fact it is very rare that a married couple will live together forever.
The main reason which I think for the reduction of a family is independence.
Being married requires a lot of sacrifice for a couple. They have the responsibility of children and other things. They should not only think about themselves, they now have to think about doing everything together. A person gets bound this way.
If he/she wants to have a meal outside, they have to think of spending money on the whole family whereas, if you are living alone, you can do whatever you want to at any time. In other words we can say that a family requires financial security.
Another reason for the decline in family life is the changing status of women within a few years. If we compare the lifestyle of women of the past to now, we will see a huge difference. Before, women were not allowed to work, smoke and were considered as of lower standard then men. Gradually as time passed women started getting rights in society and now a time has come that women are equal in status as men. Women’s freedom has greatly affected a family life because women want to live with freedom like men. Nowadays many women do not prefer to marry and stay at home. They want to be independent. Many women even believe that the most unsafe place for women is a family because this way they depend upon the man of the house who can dominant them.
People desire to live as bachelor and spinsters.
Due to these changes in society, a family is divided into four types which are described above.
A look at family types
A nuclear family as described above is a traditional type of family which includes husband, wife and Children. This family appears to be democratically managed, where both parents like to include their children in family discussions. Parents have more time for their Children and everyone receives equal attention and expectations from each other. The family shares thoughts with each other.
Extended family on the other hand is quite different from Nuclear. The parental roles in an extended family are more likely to be problematical as parents have the responsibility for many other things apart from their children. The family is structure by gender. The mother looks after the household responsibility and the daughters also learn the same. The main focus of a mother’s eye in an extended family is to provide her family with warmth, affection and comfort. Whereas the father provides financial security, discipline, obedience and helps in household tasks which require physical power .The boys and girls follow the roles of their parents. Girls help in kitchen while boys help father in doing work which requires physical energy.
Reconstituted (step) family is different from both family types described before. Children of these families often lack in confidence. They are usually shy type of children and are mentally stressed .it is not always that your step parent is cruel and harsh but it is very difficult sometimes to live with a person who is actually not your father or mother. Unconsciously the child’s heart never admires the step parent and the step parent also doesn’t really like the child.
Often the parents of this family both work and the child does his /her own work.
One- parent is a family where the Children live with one of their parent usually mother who has separated from her husband and decides not marry again and live with her Children. As this family is often small and incomplete so the members of the family give more time to each other and try to fill the vacuum of the missing person.
If the child does not have a brother or sister then he tries to make more friends to fill the emptiness in his/her life.