Using Sociological Theories and Evidence Discuss Why the Contemporary British Family Is Characterised by Diversity.

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The British family is changing. Traditionally the family was not diverse, specific family types were very much associated with the time period, eg, pre industrial Britain the family type was the unit of production and 1850 - 1950 we had the classic extended family. 1950’s to 1970’s was the nuclear family. However in recent times there is evidence to suggest that this has changed. There is still the nuclear family which is usually a small family, with independance stable employment very much able to support itself but the nuclear family is very much diminished. We can also find many different types of families in society, there is now an extended family which has a wider kinship and are interdependent, a lone parent family where there is…show more content…
Today over 50% of females have not given birth by the age of 30. Marriage has also became less popular. In 1981 the marriage rate was 7.1 marriages per 1,000 of the population: by 1992 this figure stood at 5.4. Stacey’s (1996) research stated ‘ traditional male jobs became scarce and insecure with the result that it became increasingly difficult for a family to live on just the fathers income. Once it became the norm for females to undertake some form of paid employment they were able to be more creative in their structures and relationships. This leads to diversity in all aspects of the family.’ Also Women are no longer financially dependant on men through job opportunities and support from the welfare state which can result in a growth of lone parent families.

Minority ethnic groups also add to the diversity of British family life. This is a complex situation. Ballard 1982 and 1990 studied South Asian families , he found that adjustments in the family life occurred when a South Asian family moved to the UK, they continued to maintain their family traditions, familIes tended to live close together. He concluded that traditional South Asian family life suffered in the UK, families were able to retain their essential nature.A similar study by Bhatti (1999) on Asian families had similar results to Ballard. Overall it was found that South Asian family life have survived. However, they are being challenged as new
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