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fewer people marrying facts

- 1st time marriages peaked 1940 at 426,000, 91% 1st time for both partners
- 2010 number of 1st time marriages decreased fallen 158,980 accounted for 66% all marriages
- proportion household with married couples fell from 74% 1916, 58% 1996 to 42%2016
- 2010 marriage rate was 8.7
- number unmarried adults rose 2009 produces lowest rate since being recorded in 1862


why fewer people are marring

- secularisation less religious people- decline in stigma, more socially acceptable
- women incurred financial independence- jobs, education,
- increase same sex couple- more people openly gay not in empty shell marriage
- cohabitation is rising
- cost of marriage - high expectations dream wedding


remarriages increasing facts

- 1999 108,488 marriages were remarriages one or both partners, accounting for 41% all marriages.
however 2012 number had decreased 80,890 were remarriages accounting for 34% all marriages.
- pattern of serial monogamy has emerged, recent figures suggest a slight decrease number of remarriages since 1970s the trend has been one of an increase.


why remarriage is increasing

- more socially acceptable - serial monogamy
- media influences - look respectable
- increases religions taking related approach to remarriage
- increase civil ceremonies - cheaper
- secularisation- many don't believe in till death do us apart


people marrying later facts

- average age for marriage 2010 36 for men 34 women (rounded up)
- for 1st time marriages 32 men and 30 for women, this represents an increase of 8 years between 1971-2010


why people are marrying later

- increase life expectancy - no rush
- stay in education longer - (women in particular) want to establish themselves
- more socially acceptable - modern norm
- marriage is expensive - like to save up


civil ceremonies have increased facts

- couples less likely to marry in church today. promotion of c.c. first exceeded number of religious ceremonies in 1992.
- 2010 68% marriages were cc increase from 64% 2000


why civil ceremonies have increased

- secularisation
- increase in alternatives - beach,hotels
- can be cheaper


Defining a family

- in past functionalist sociologists claimed moochers family was the basic family structure: 2 generations living together with biologically related children headed by heterosexual couple
- today definition is challenged by wide variety of alternatives e.g. a broader more inclusive deffinition of family might be a group deleted by either
kinship ties
civil partnership


defining a household

- includes individuals living alone, married or committed to each other.
- e.g. living with friends at uni


Cohabitations facts

- as marriage decreases c increases
- 1996 2.9m people aged 16-59 were cohabiting, by 2012 rose to 5.9m
- makes c faster growing family trend in uk
people aged 25-29 statistically more likely to cohabit than any other age group 33% men 37% women
- 2012 households no children 54%, dependent 39% and non dependent 4%


cohabitation as a permeant alternative to marriage

- some c has become marriage by another name
- drawing data from British and european aptitude survey (2000) barlow et al (2001) found marriage become more a lifestyle choice than expected part of life
- Chandler (1993) suggests c has increasingly become accepted as a long term permeant alternative to marriage this reflected on increase number of children born outside of marriage c relationships.
- although chandler sees c as increasingly popular she point out its not new as many as a 1/4 to 1/3 lived in consentioual unions in the 18th century supports gill found high marriage rates 1850-1960. so long term c not new phenomenon


cohabitation as a prelude to marriage

- most evidence suggests c is seen as process to marriage.
- is a short term pre marital relationship. reflecting Chester (1985) most case of c is transient, temporary, phase before marriage - stepping stone
- coast (2006) found 75% of c later married of c was successful.
- since late 1980s become norm to cohabit before marriage, majority practise 80% of marriages proceeded by c.


3 forms of marital breakdowns

Empty shell marriage


Patterns and trends divorces filled facts

- 20 century sustained increase divorce all modern societies. England + Wales dr steadily increased until stabilesed in 1994
- lays eat statistics (dec2012) estimate 42% marriages England + wales end in divorce

-1911 859 petitions filled for divorce
- 1971 111,000
- 1993 179,000
- 2001 157,000
- 2015 114,000


Divorce rate per 1000 married England and Wales facts

1960-1980s witnessed largest increase in divorce

2.1 1961
13.1 1995

However divorce peaked 1993 has been general decline

12.9 2001
10.8 2011


Reasoned for increase in divorce

Socially acceptable
No stigma attached

Change in women’s roles
Legal changes
Increase serial monogamy


Patterns and trends divorce explained

- Divorce rate no seem high but 1996 nearly as many divorce as 1st marriages. Comparison to dr 10.8 2011 and marriage rate was 8.7. Figures often used suggest institute marriage decline no longer valid

- divorce stats treat with caution and assessed against legal financial and social circumstances so misleading conclusions about the declining importance of marriage avoided.
- increase in divorce simply reflects decline in stigma attached to divorce + easier and cheaper enabling legal termination of unhappy marriages - rather than increase of marital breakdowns. Well never know how many unhappy dysfunctional relationships as esm existed before divorce was made easy.
- so stats show increase in divorce not necessarily number of marital breakdowns


Patterns and trend in divorce explained continued

-1996 nearly as many divorces as first marriages but nearly as many remarriages as divorce

- 1961 15% all marriages rm one or both
1999 41%
2003 35%

Conclusions to state of marriage cannot be made with defence to divorce alone add remarriage


Decrease in divorce trends general

- 2011 divorce declined England + Wales 1.7% to 117,000 (rounded) to 119,000 (rounded)
- this continues general divorce science 2003 153,000
- fall in divorces consistent with decline in number of marriages 2009 this decrease is due to more couples cohabiting

However 42% marriages estimated end in divorce for a,b,c


Decrease in divorce trends
(A) year of marriage

% marriage ending in divorce generally increased those marrying 1970 early 1990s.

-22% of marriages in 1970 had ended by the 15th wedding anniversary whereas 33% of marriages 1995 ended after same time period
-however those marrying most recent years 2000+ percentage of marriage ended in divorce falling

- Cohabitation increased recent guys research population trends show people live together before getting married act to filter out weaker relationships processing to marriage


Decrease in divorced trends
(b) age of marriage

Age people first Marry increasing and previous research also in population trends show those marrying older lower risk divorce


Decrease in divorce trends
(c) whether married before

- 2011 70% divorces couples where both parties first marriage
- 30% couples at least one of the parties divorced or widowed previously
- percentage of couples divorcing when marriage was first for both parties generally declined from early 1970 to 2011 of the same time period
- however percentage of divorce where one of both parties were previously divorced has gradually increased


Increase in divorce
changing social attitudes

Divorce no longer associated with shame and stigma increase agree accepted as a fact of life

- reflects facts norms and values associated with marriage and divorce relaxed and divorce become normalised

- long-term social trend shift away from monogamy to serial monogamy many people see monogamy unrealistic so less pressure to stay in empty shell marriage


Increase in divorce

- changes in social attitudes may be possibly do you to secularisation

-religious beliefs and values less direct influence large sections of population therefore fewer people believe marriage has to be till death do us apart

- many religions softened views and opposition to divorce

- increase civil ceremony’s show marriage less likely seen as religious institution


Increase in divorce
rising expectations of marriage

- social expectations marriage changed more people demand higher standard from partners want emotional sexual compatibility equality and companionship.
- In the past divorce less accept able people would more likely stay empty shell marriage put up with things today less likely to tolerate unfulfilling relationship
- linked to ideology of romance love idea has become more dominant in past people unlikely to have high expectations of marriage


Increase in divorce
rising expectations about marriage views explained

- functionalists argue increase divorce indicative reflective of higher expectations attached to marriage rather than social significance
- also point to continuing popularity of marriage and remarriage later a streeting people are dissatisfied with particular partner not institution of marriage

- feminists of critical of you argue that oppression of women was in marriage main cause of marital conflict and divorce


Increase in divorce
changing role of women

- feminist note that women’s expectation marriage however radically changed this reflects improve status

- fewer women no longer stay unhappily married because they are not financially dependent upon their husbands. In past woman trapped economic we however today they have greater financial dependence most days helpful single-parent families

- 1950 75% of divorce petition filed by men 1990 75% were filed by woman


Increase in divorce
changing role of women feminist explanations

Big improvement women’s position public sphere of employment education politics feminist argue private sphere family and personal relationship change has been limited and slow

- argue marriage remains patriarchal men benefiting from wives triple shift of paid work domestic and emotional work feminist believe women are more conscious of patriarchal oppression and more confident about rejecting it


Increase in divorce
Modernity and individualism

- Beck and Giddens argue modern society traditional norms such as duty to remain same partner for life lose their hold over individuals
- as a result individuals become free to pursue own self interest known as individualisation thesis
- relationships thus become more fragile individuals become unwilling to remain positive sense of duty tradition or sake of children if fails personal fulfilment and satisfies needs.
- this results in higher divorce rate which normalises and further strengthens beliefs marriage exist to provide personal fulfilment


Increase in divorce
changes in divorce legislation

- changes in law generally made easier and cheaper to end

- this in itself not cause of increase in divorce legal changes often reflect other changes in society especially attitude changes


Divorce legislation 1857

1857 matrimonial cases act
- Made divorce available through court then Parliament available for all poor and wealthy
- Law was influenced idea matrimonial offence notion that one or both spouses had wronged each other however Men divorceed unfaithful wife but women had to prove another offences wasn’t removed until 1923


Divorce legislation 1949

1949 legal aid and advice act
- provided free legal advice paid solicitors fees though so could not afford


Divorce legislation 1969

1969 divorce reform act
- Effect 1971 reflected liberalisation of divorce legislation idea of matrimonial offence no longer emphasised
- defined the grounds for divorce as irreversible breakdown of marriage unreasonable behaviour adultery et could be critiqued but importantly people could divorce his marriage failed
- Available to you as agreed separation five years of anyone supposed agreed


Divorce legislation 1996

1996 family law act
- more carefully considered decisions reduce conflict
- encourage couples seek meditation but allow divorce by agreement after a period of reflection
- introduced no fault divorce


Divorce legislation 2007

Appealing court ruling
- divorce settlement principle of equality was to apply 50-50 split of all assets


Divorce legislation 2014

Same-sex marriage act 2014
- same sex marriage became illegal same grounds for divorce would apply both SS and opposite sex


Meaning of high divorce rate
- the new right

- see you high divorce rate undesirable
- because it undermines traditional nuclear family

- in the view divorce create underclass of welfare dependent female lone parents
Single parents Cons believe only get benefits don’t think about work

- deprive males of adult male role they need


Meaning of high divorce rate feminists

- see you high divorce rate as desirable shows women breaking free from oppression of patriarchal nuclear family

- please both men and women should be able to divorce shows freedom


Minutes of high divorce rate post-modernists

High divorce rate equals giving individuals freedom to choose and end relationship when no longer meets with their needs
greater cause of family diversity


Meaning of high divorce rate functionalists

- argue high divorce rate does not necessarily prove marriage as a social Institute is under threat

- means people have higher expectations of marriage today

- high remarriage shows people continued commitment of idea of marriage


Meaning of high divorce rate interactionist‘s

- aim to understand the meaning of divorce has to the individual and recognised it varies between positive and necessary to negative emotional development

- Believe divorce is unique don’t generalise


Trends in childbearing
Increased number of children born outside of marriage

- 1961 94% births first registered married couples
- 2011 figure had decreased 53% nearly always birth trying to register both parents mostly cohabitating

- 1971 45% this outside marriage. 1992 rose 76% 2011 84% this registered parents married cohabitating civil partnership

- according to brown trend reflects reduction in shot gun weddings where couples married to legitimise pregnancy
- however statistics should be viewed with caution provide snapshot pictures of family life over half of children outside of marriage married in future


Trends in childbearing:
increased number of children outside of marriage reasons

Most socially acceptable
Cohabitation fastest growing trend in the UK
More engagement in serial monogamy


Trends in childbearing women having children later facts

- 1971 2012 average age 1st. children arose from 24 to 28
- 2012 average age mother 29 father 30 to 49% babies born mothers over 30 65% on fathers over 30


Trends in childbearing women having children later reasons

- prefer financial stability

- extension of you

- Marrying later knock on affect

- socially acceptable change position in women expansion of higher education

Increased life expectancy

Contraception more reliable


Trends in childbearing
women having fewer children

Whilst number slightly decreased beginning the 21st century women having fewer children

Average age children per woman fell from two in 1964 to Willow record is 1.63 in 2001 rising to 1.91 2011 due to non-UK born women have a greater children


Trends in childbearing women having fewer children reasons

Economic factors cost

Never being late and starting family later impacts of possible number

Stay in education longer



Trends in childbearing more woman remaining childless facts

2013 1 in 5 women reached age 45 we’re childless


Trends in childbearing more woman remaining childless reasons


Choose career

More socially acceptable

No longer a necessity



How does changing family patterns and trends impact on family structure and contribute towards greater diversity

SPF because of divorce

increase in divorce leads to reconstitute families

Cohabitating increase decrease in marriage

Increase divorce rates decrease Nuclear family

Single person households because increase divorce

Life expectancy equals more widows

2014 legalised marriage ncreased LGBT


Key trends single-parent families. And lone parent household

Lone parents and dependent children

2.0 million loan parents with dependent children 2011
1.7 million in 2001

One and four children live in single-parent families today

One parents dependent children represent 26% of families 2011
24% 2001 and 7% in 1972


Single-parent families and lone parent households

Women’s role in spf

9/10 families headed by single mothers
2011 women account for 92% loan parents with dependent children

Woman more likely take part main caring responsibilities for children when a relationship breaks down becoming lone parents

Reflects Widespread belief woman by nature suited to nurturing role as a result divorce court to give custody to children mothers

Research shows men in general less willing than women to work to take care for children


Single-parent families and lone parent household

Media represents

Media representation stereotype of lone parent contrast to average age parents have dependent children UK in 2011 was 38

2011 45% of lone parents age 40 or above and only 2% of lone parent with 20 and under


Single-parent families and
Lone parent households

SPf dependent children women and men

No single parent families emerged as a result of divorce in the past

However 2011 51% loan parent with dependent children never been married
an increased from 42% in 2001. One contributing factor is increase in cohabitation in 2001 25% of live births in England and Wales were to cohabitating couples this increased 31% by 2010 reflects the reality that some mothers are single by choice

35% male lone parents never married compare to 50% of female lone parent
7% male loan parents with dependent children are widowed be double the percentage of female lone parents


Single-parent families and lone parent households

Family life cycle Duncan and roger

Duncan and Roger has found less than one third of children born into single-parent families stayed in one throughout childhood

Therefore important to appreciate that single-parent families/lone parent household are not necessarily permanent state but a transitionary ones reflecting notion of family life cycle


Key trends families

2015 there was 18.7 million families in the UK

Most common family 2015 was married or civil partner couple families with or with out dependent children at 12.5 million

Cohabiting couple continue fasting going family in the UK 2015 3.2 million cc family’s

Nearly 2 million lone parent with dependent children 2015 figure has grown from 1.6 million in 1996
Lone parents with dependent children represented 25% of all families with dependent children in 2015
2015 40% young adults aged 15 to 34 UK were living with parents due to price houses rising


Key trends households

27 million households UK 20 1535% all household two-person household 29% one-person households
2015 7.7 million people in the UK households who were living alone


Reconstituted families

Where is more than one set of families blended together usually through divorce and remarriage

This type of family unit increased along with divorce count for 10% of all families with dependent children

86% reconstituted families at least one child from a women’s previous relationship well and 11% there is at least one child from man’s 3% are both previous relationships

Growing trend increasing number of children today experience coparenting spend one week with mother one week with biological parent some experts see this as a bi-nuclear family (two separate post break up households)


Reconstituted families sociologists views

Alan and Crow believe reconstituted families face particular problems of divided loyalties and issues such as contact with the non-resident parent

McCarthy at el argues there is greater diversity amongst reconstituted families some have tension about others have no more tension then intact conventional nuclear families

Ferri and Smith found reconstituted families greater risk of poverty because more children to support and often stepfather may have to support the children from a previous relationship never the less they did conclude that the involvement of stepparents In childcare and child rearing is usually a positive one


Single/one person household

Fewer people living as couples. Has been a big increase in the number of people living alone and as a result this is one key trend. 2006 almost 3 and 10 households contained only one person nearly 3 times the figure for 1961

2013 7.7 million people lived a single person households of which 4.2 million age 16 to 64 of those in this age group 58% male 62% aged 16-64 never married in comparison women same age group 49%
Increased separation divorce also created know one person households especially for men under 65 because following divorced children more likely to live with mother
Additionally the decline number of marrying with the trend of marrying later means more people remaining single experiencing more time living in a single person household number of people in this age group living alone hastripled since 1961


Single/one-person households over 65 and creative singlehood

Those age 65+ pattern is reverse majority of people live alone 69% female this is due to demographic factors such as ageing population more women than men do you showman tire life expectancy
- 1.7 million widowed women aged 65+ living alone three times number of men. pensioner one person households doubled since 1961

Sties argues growing number of people deliberately choosing to live alone ‘creative singlehood’ however often also assume people not living with a partner do not have one weather from choice or not

however Duncan and Philip for British social attitude survey found one in 10 adults are ‘living apart together’ they are in a significant relationship but not married or cohabiting


Debate on single-parent families

Right wing / conservatives

- right wing commentators conservatives of single-parent families because of:

Expensive will you SPS disproportionately more likely to be reliant plus dependent on benefits more expensive to government

Lacking moral responsibility content to you live of welfare state showing lack of values morals recklessness
represented a breakdown of traditional nuclear family more children are born outside of marriage as a consequence of divorce

Dysfunctional large numbers of children grow up without a father or children particularly boys lack male role model lack of male discipline families may be dysfunctional


Debate on single-parent families

Social problems/the new right - right wing

Right weighing so SPF as a social problem linked to rising levels of crime delinquency education underachievement ETEC

The new right commentator Murray saw growth of SPF resulting from overgenerous welfare state rewarding irresponsible behaviour therefore when last in government the Conservative set of child-support agency designed to reduce number of SPF by stressing financial responsibility of parents and forcing absent going to do a natural support children believe I found my thing twice before leaving family are forced to pay maintenance


debate on single-parent families


Political left believe many problems encountered by some SPF to poverty rather than reflection of particular type of family unit

Question assumption made by many political right benefit act as a financial incentive to become SPF as there is a significant links between lower living standards and SPF most evidence suggest single parent who are relying on benefits do not enjoy being dependent and would prefer to work improve standards of living if it was practical to do so


Debate on single-parent families

Cashmore and Morgan

Cashmore: Question assumption that children brought up in SPF are worse off than A two-parent family arguing it is more reliable for child to live in a stable setting than with 2 parents if there was conflict or hostility

Morgan: dangerous to make generalisations about the effect of SPF however most available evidence points to the fact that children do less well this could be due to poverty not spf


Same-sex families

LGBT have been parents for a long time some have previous kids from heterosexual relationships others adopt more recently have entered surrogacy agreement and coparenting agreement. Company Stonewall ensure all LGBT have same legal rights to parenthood is everyone else

Adoption Same sex couples became legal 2005 ( allowed but only as individuals) 2014 allowed to marry


Definition of extended families

Any group of kin extended beyond the nuclear family

Family may be extended vertically e.g. grandparents or horizontally e.g. aunts and uncles or both

Classic extended family live together or in very close proximity


Extended family trends

1996 extended families made 167,000 households

2012 increased to 281,000

Despite this increase represents small portion 1% of households in 2012


Extended family Charles and willmott

Dispersed extended family

Research by Charles in Swansea found classical three generation extended family living under one roof is now all but extent the only significant exception she found were among cities Bangladeshi communities

Willmott argues that in the main where extended family structure continue to exist they are dispersed extended families this is where relatives are geographically separated but maintain contact with phone calls and visits


Extended family

Modified extended families

If your family to come focus of family life extended family continue to have roles high levels of individual social and geographical mobility and disbursal did not prevent maintenance of high-level between extended kin

Acknowledging that the nature function and role of the extended family had been modified favourite to modified extended family described a coalition of nuclear family’s in a state of partial dependence
First partial dependence differentiates the type of family structure from both classical extended and the nuclear family


Extended family

multiple nuclear families

Study of Caribbean families in Britain found despite geographical dispersed continue to provide and support described as multi nuclear families with close and frequent contact

Evidence suggests extended family structure continue to play an important role for many people today providing both practical and emotional support however different from classical extended family whose members worked and lived together bound by mutual obligations

Finch argues nature of family relationships largely determined by gender ethnicity economic’s generation and religion


Extended family

Beanpole family

Described by Branenn as long and thin extended vertically (grandparent - parent - child) through 3 or more generations but not horizontally (aunties uncles)

Partly a result of two demographic changes

increased life expectancy more survive and grandparents and great granparents

smaller family sizes meaning people having fewer siblings and that’s for your horizontal ties


Extended family conclusion

Overall evidence suggests extended families continue to play an important role for people today providing practical and emotional support when called upon

However very different from classical extended family members live together and were bound by strong mutual obligations some sense of obligation does remain at least to some kin and as a last resort in times of crisis for many


Family diversity

Immigration into Britain of the 60 - 70 years contributed to greater ethnic diversity greater ethnic diversity has contributed to types of families and households found in contemporary Britain


Family diversity

black families

Have higher proportion lone parents 2012 over half of all families dependent children were headed by black person were LPF

High rate female-headed LPF has some times been seen as evidence of family disorganisation can be traced back to slavery or more recently high rate of unemployment amongst black males under slavery couples were sold separately children stayed with mothers argued that this established a pattern of family life that persist today also argued that mail unemployment and poverty have meant black men less able to provide for their family resulting higher rate of desertion or marital breakdown

However Mirza argues higher rate loan parent families among Blacks not result of disorganisation but reflects the high value that black woman place on independence additionally Reynolds argues that the stats are misleading in that many apparently lone parents are in stable supportive but not cohabiting relationships


Family diversity Asian families

Tend to be larger than other ethnic groups Sometimes multigenerational include three generations often organised through a network of males bound together by idea of brotherhood and loyalty but most are nuclear rather than extended larger households due to result of younger age profile since higher portion in childbearing age groups compare to population as a whole

Additionally large household reflect the value placed on extended family is practical considerations such as assist when migrating extended family is provide important source of looks Asian migrants often shared homes in modern society live in nuclear household that are relatively nearby

Phone divorced single parent at small the family is now found within British Asian community they were more likely than other ethnic group’s to marry earlier than they were peers and cohabitation separation and divorce were relatively rare also some evidence many couples including those with children still continue to live in same house as the males parents


Types of diversity in contemporary Britain

Diversity and location

Diversity and location eversaley and bonnerjea

The affluent south attracts 2 parent families high social class

The geriatric wards
Mostly coastal attracts elderly is retired

Older industrial areas
Declining industry traditional family structure relationship older population strong community ties

Recently declining industrial areas
Found in Midlands have been prosperous but now declining young families have little support from extended kin

Rural areas
Family to work in agriculture related areas of the economy extended and traditional family now been taken over by commuters

Inner cities
Experience high-level social deprivation large turnover of inhabitant many single person household high proportion of immigrants many SPF and people are more likely to be isolated from Kin


Types of diversity in contemporary Britain

Five types of diversity

Rona and Robert rapoport

Organisational different structures Alway of organising household who include who earns wages who performs each roll

Cultural the nature of family life and relationships can vary considerably between different ethnic and cultural groups

Class/economic differences may be based on class such as sharing domestic rules decisions employing a nanny

Life course nature of family can change over the life course for individuals example living in the nick your family is more likely for those in their 30s and those in the 60s

Cohort individuals both at the same time may have similar experiences because of wider social and historical events such as economic depression war expansion of education