How The Family Changed Over Time

1478 Words6 Pages
The way in which the ‘family’ unit is perceived has changed immensely since the last quarter of the twentieth century. Over time, many factors have contributed to these changes including, and not limited to, the industrial revolution, the feminist movement, the period of modernity and technological advancements. As a result, these factors have influenced significant changes to the ‘family’, these include; the increasing rates of female occupation, mean age at marriage, divorce, unmarried couples, single parents, mean age at birth of first child, and a decline in marriage rates. Moreover, this essay will examine how the family has changed over time through discussing the factors that have contributed to these changes. It is for these reasons and observations made by sociologists that it could be inferred that the way the family unit is perceived has changed greatly over time.
Foremost, the familial image has undertaken significant changes in regards to the ‘breadwinner’ and ‘homemaker’ roles within the family. In the latter of the 20th century, women’s participation in the labour force had been very little to non-existent, primarily because time allocations had been perceived as gender specific, that is, men were seen as the ‘breadwinner’, while women were viewed as the ‘homemaker’ (Seltzer, Bachrach, Bianchi, Bledsoe, Casper, Chase-Lansdale, Diprete, Hotz, Morgan, Sanders, & Thomas, 2005, pp.20). The ‘breadwinner’ role was to secure financial stability, while the
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