Outline and Evaluate the View That the Nuclear Family Has a Negative Impact Upon Its Members.

2993 Words Jan 10th, 2013 12 Pages
The nuclear family is a term used to define a family group consisting of aheterosexual pair of adults; wife and husband, and their children. It can also be known as a ‘beanpole family’ and it can be, especially in middle-class families, child-centered; child-centered is defined as being actively involved by spending lots of time together as the child's needs and wishes are the most important thing.
Only 17% of families in the UK are nuclear families, and this statistic is on the decrease as it is more so a norm in the 21st century to cohabit (an unmarried couple living together and having a sexual relationship).In 2012 there were 18.2 million families in the UK. Of these, 12.2 million consisted of a married couple with or without children.
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This patriarchal ideology is justified by men through claims that women are more suited to caring roles because of their maternal instinct. However, Sue Sharpe said that not all women take on caring roles because of their socialisation. They may react against their socialisation, or pursue a career. Charlie Lewis (1980s) stated that fathers are playing a bigger role; they a more committed. Adrianna Burgess agrees with Charlie Lewis. He is a part of the ‘father institute’, a charity that supports fatherhood.
A sociologist who wanted major changes was Charlotte Gilman. Gilman called herself a humanist and believed the domestic environment oppressed women through the patriarchal (male dominated) beliefs upheld by society. She argued that male aggressiveness and maternal roles for women were artificial and no longer necessary for survival in post-prehistoric times. She wrote, "There is no female mind. The brain is not an organ of sex. Might as well speak of a female liver." She also argued that women's contributions to civilization, throughout history, have been stopped because of an androcentric (focus on male) culture.
A Marxist view on the nuclear family looks at inequality. Similar to feminism, a Marxist approach to the nuclear family is cynical. A psychiatrist, David Cooper was critical of the nuclear family, and parents; they brought up children incorrectly, leading corruption!