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To What Extent Is the Nuclear Family the Ideal Family Type?

  • Date Submitted: 03/25/2010 12:11 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54 
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To what extent is the nuclear family the ideal family type?

Some may say that the nuclear family is the ideal family because of the norm structure to it: Father the breadwinner, Mother the housewife and the two dependant children. From a functionalist point of view they would agree because they believe this particular structure is the ‘perfect fit’ with reasons to do with the world of work. Such as when in training/working in a job one must be able to be willing to move where necessary and living in a small nuclear family its easier to uproot and settle down somewhere new. They also say that members within this structure have a tighter bond and the children therefore receive a warm and affectionate upbringing in a supportive atmosphere.
In addition many government schemes are directly aimed at the nuclear family i.e. tax, heath and welfare schemes.

On the other hand some would argue that the ‘nuclear family’ is not the ideal family at all, that it is just a stereotype. That it’s a media creation, which is then exaggerated through products like the family ticket at attractions (normally 2 adults, 2 children) and the everyday family sized car or house. These are all aimed at the nuclear (typical) family. The stereotypical image is usually based around the roles of the father, mother and the children. Despite the fact that this particular structure is given all the attention, the tradition is slowly fading away, for example the man is not always the breadwinner anymore, each households is now relying on two wages coming into the household.

To conclude I feel that when weighing up both sides of the argument I would say that the nuclear family is the ideal family. However, this is only for this moment in time as the structure of families is rapidly changing. This is illustrated by the rise in divorce that has then lead to a rise in the reconstituted families (with stepparents and stepchildren). So I feel that for this day and age the nuclear family is still...


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