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July 8, 2008 / C H Thompson

Family diversity

Though it is argued ideology promotes the nuclear family as being the dominant family form the reality is somewhat different. Familiy structures come in many diverse forms. Watch the following clip and identify as many diverse family structures as you can.

We also have evidence from the data below:

Households by household type, Great Britain, 1979 and 2002

Households by household type, Great Britain, 1979 and 2002

The above data from Social Trends shows the changes within family forms and the extent of familial diversity.

What trends can we uncover from the above data on household trends?

We can see there’s been a marked decrease in nuclear families but an increase in lone-parent families. Moreover the data relies heavily on terms ‘nuclear and couple’ when describing families. This has the effect of ignoring couples who are:

  • Remarried
  • Cohabiting
  • Same sex
  1. How do the above three groups affect the ideology of the family?

Next lesson

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