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Sociology Revision
What is the family?
“The family are a close group of people, usually related not always. Who support each other and at some point in their lives tend to live in the same household.”

There is no correct definition on the family, Sociologists do not agree on a definition, broadly there are two types of definition; • Exclusive definitions – These focus on the specific relationships within the family unit i.e. marriage • Inclusive definitions – These focus on the functions of the unit e.g. support.

The Cereal Packet Family

A popular image of the family in Britain in the late twentieth century has been described as the cereal packet family. The ‘happy family’ image gives the impression that most people live
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• Consequently half of Caribbean families with children are now single parents.

Marriage Patterns for Asians

• Marriage in Asian families whether Muslim, Hindu or Sikh is mainly arranged and consequently there is little inter-marriage with other religions or cultures. • Asian children tend to respect religious and cultural traditions and they feel a strong sense of duty to their families and especially their elders.

Divorce Patterns

• There has been an increase in divorce rates • From 1971 to 1996 the number of divorces has more than doubled.

Patterns in Marriage and Divorce

Feminist sociologists see the trends as a sign of the lack of satisfaction provided by traditional patriarchal marriage, with individuals seeking alternative types of relationships and living arrangements.

New Right thinkers have seen the trends as a sign of the breakdown of the family and have argued for a return to ‘traditional values’. They suggest that because of the easy availability of divorce, people are no longer as committed to the family as they were in the past.

Changes in legislation which have made divorce easier but also social changes in which the law reflect are seen as the main causes of the increase in divorce rates.

Have Women Broken up the Family?

The position of women has changed in a number of ways, such as the wife does not have to put up

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