How changes in family structure affect society
There are many changes that occur in the society and the family but it always had a link which distinguishes the reasons for both activities in one way or the other. If there is a change in the society it will definitely have an impact with the citizen's; it may be against the change or for but it has its contribution for the change. The Society cannot be called a society without its citizens and family is where most citizens belong therefore for every change in the family- will be an influence and be the reasons behind the changes of the society (Wethington, 1992).
There is a huge difference in the current family structure compared with how family is defined, it doesn't meet the criteria and the description but it is still a family. The term "Nuclear family" is used to describe how a family should be structured and an example of a nuclear family is composed by two biological parents and children this model of nuclear family believes to represents a healthy and successful family in the society for every citizen. The nuclear family's role is to helps maintain the family stronger and get the children and parents connected to avoid many problems due to separation of parents or numerous children. It doesn't matter about the family status or background but each individual in the society have different family circumstances and beliefs therefore the structure of the family varies and adapts depending in the consequences in life (Bengston, 2004).
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The meaning of families has too many definitions and different structure compared to the previous decade or recent years, the changes are very fast and unpredictable. A family was usually set after a marriage and every member of the family including the grandparents and the other siblings were each and everyone an important asset to the family, lived together or had regular visits. In the olden days the society wouldn't treat a couple with respects or even accept their presence within the society if they were living together before marriage or getting pregnant before being married. It has some religious influence but the society was very strict about marriages and that can also affect their future generation therefore individuals were scared not to be treated equally by the society and were getting married in order to form a family. Being in a family was the main aim for each individuals at that time; in today's worlds people have different interest and priorities but the majority still have families as their main priority maybe don't believe in marriages but they are members of families, nobody is to be felt as an orphan due to the current societies where even friends are considered to be families (Kelly).
The family of Today varies from house to house, it is very complicated to define a family of today, it has different biological parents, children and sometimes both parents don't have any biological connections with the children but still are formed as family with adoptions systems. Therefore it is not needed to be blood related to be part of a family or belong to one, a family is formed with individuals not necessarily blood related and live within the same roof, care and love for each other. If the current society has to be compared with its previous, a lot of changes can be seen but the main ones are the changes in the family structure. There are different types of family, a single parent, gay parents, lesbian parents, adoptions, different biological parents and siblings all living within the same roof. Previously mothers or fathers would only be considered as single parents after a death of the partner and then the society slowly was getting several cases where single parent would occur due to divorce; it then lost the obligation of being married in order to form a family. The current new family types are gay parents and lesbians parents, gay and lesbian people are having an option to adopt a child and form a family of their own. The society was against gay and lesbian people but as the population and family of gay and lesbian people increased the society has changed its view and its manners over them (Bengston, 2004).
The changes in the family and society might have improved and benefited individuals according to their living circumstances but there are also many negative outcomes due to these changes in family structure. A nuclear family was said to be ideal for the benefits of the children, both parents are responsible more emotionally and blood related to their children therefore they would care and love for their children's future and well being as education and heath related issues. In today's case; parents are not always the biological mother or father of the child who leads to lack of concentration and observation in the children. Children don't get the basics such as care, love, proper food, medication and education. It can be proven in many cases where single parents struggle to manage the family and don't cope with problems and their children; it is not fair on the children not to benefit from basics needs such as education, care and love. It is highly necessary and the parents are responsible for the well being of the child that is why a nuclear family is believed to be better for the children( Bilge, 1983).
The children are also put in danger sometimes and in most cases the females are victims of sexual harassments from their step-fathers. It cannot be guaranteed that the biological father wouldn't have sexual contacts with their children because there are cases where their biological parents have sexual contacts with their children. Danger is everywhere but it is statistically proven to be safer to live with their own biological father and better for the children's future and safety. Not all the parents biological or not have sexual or treat their children differently from their own, there are cases where step-fathers and step-mothers don't treat all the children equally and give preference to their own biological child. In the other hand we have cases were parents of different biological children have very good relationship and remain as strong family (Starling, 1995).
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The descriptions above of different changes in the family structure have given an idea of how the society is involved with the family and how it adapts to the changes. The issues about marriages and living together where once not accepted among the society even if the law wasn't objecting; the society still was strong enough to refuse others on their view on marriages. The society slowly is changed because as the elder generation disappear or become weaker to comment the younger generation take the lead and change the society according to their wishes and the law is also a strong asset to fight against the society. The marriage wasn't the only issue but there were many issues where the society would refuse to assume the change like the different race in the family but as the members of family develop their changes in their lifestyle-then the society doesn't immediately reacts and adapts to the changes but it slowly learns or somehow is forced to adapt and assume the changes( Delgado, 1994).
The current changes of gay and lesbian families aren't completely accepted by the society but the law has only recently approved the rights for the gay and lesbian people. In most cases the individuals would have changes in their lifestyle and the law and religious beliefs would be against their choice. At current, religions don't have an impact for the law to make judgements on individuals choice of living but it usually needs a large amount of people or related issues to fight against then the law then it conclude a favourable judgement or sometimes against depending on the issues. The society haven't fully accepted the gay and lesbian families because it is not a dominant number of people whom are gays and lesbians therefore it would take some time for the society to adapt and accept the existence of gay and lesbian families. This is how the structure of the family can change the society, as the family changes its structure the society slowly adapts and contributes as the family wishes; it is a slow process but at the end the society is indirectly forced to accept the changes (Starr, 1998).
What is legal today wasn't legal yesterday and what was legal yesterday wasn't legal before, therefore the family changes the society and the society changes the world.
Word count: 1428 words
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