(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Sociology of the Common British Family

            Functionalists Willmott and Young (1975) would argue that there isn't one universal family type throughout British history, instead they found there were trends of family norms within different periods of it. They gathered their evidence through historical data and conducted a survey of 1,923 households in Outer London. Their study showed that the family life was affected by the economy and so varied through the industrial revolution. From collecting this evidence they argued that there were three stages to change in the family structure throughout British history. The earliest 'norm' in family structure was seen in the pre-industrial epoch of pre 19th century and was made up of families working as part of a team in agriculture by farming land or in textiles production to obtain money and food for the family. .
             However, this family structure declined at the turn of the industrial revolution in the early 19th century when factories started producing goods in there masses. This stopped family units from producing their own textiles and farming which forced them into working in the factories where men worked on machines such as the spinning jenny and the Arkwright's wheel. Wages were low so families suffered and started to extend their family ties to protect them against poverty. Although jobs were available in the factories it still created a problem of unemployment as machines were used to replace families from producing their own goods, hence the drop in employment rates and earnings. Women created their own informal help network with members outside the nuclear family as a form of protection because of the high male death rate, and often helped each other with duties such as shopping, baby-sitting and washing. Married couples were not emotionally close and lived close to their parents for the help where 50-80% of women saw their parents at least weekly. Fathers did not tend to help with these duties and were more involved in only socializing the children.

Essays Related to Sociology of the Common British Family

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question