The family in modern society is a unit of research in social and medical sciences. Classifications of a family have differed from a country to another and even within the same countries. Due to this fact and the fast modifying realities of the present times, there is this need for redefining the different types of family structure. Family structure is fast being redefined for carrying out studies on the family as a significant factor in health along with other exciting variables.
The Changing Family Structure In Modern Times
The majority of the grandparents of the present times raised their children in villages resembling churches. Earlier, there were villages made of only a few families, a school, and a church. Parents in the earlier times were mainly agriculturists sustaining on land produce. Marriages were not conducted for personal satisfaction but for bearing children and fulfilling obligations. Slowly, families moved to towns where the fathers worked in factories, schools, and businesses while the mothers took care of the children at home.
Then there was this massive change witnessed when families moved to the cities. Families of modern times speak of companionship and friendship in marriage. They do not believe in having children. Instead, the mothers and the fathers work until they accumulate good savings to bear children. It might be surprising to note that specific social changes of the past century have shaped the traditional family.
Changes In Modern-Day Family Structure
There are specific illustrative changes found in the making of families in modern society. These changes include:
- Reduction in infant mortality which means there is no need for parents to have five children where just two or three survive.
- People live for a long time, which means they spend more time as partners, especially when the children leave. There is this constant use of different birth control measures allowing more choices in career and family planning.
- Education is spreading at a fast pace, which has brought about an increase in employment scopes for individuals in a family.
- Women have started working out of their homes, which has brought about an increase in family income.
- There is a decline in birth rates, meaning more time for parenting and other activities.
- There is a considerable change noted in the way men and women act and think towards each other.
- Sexual and social rules are quite relaxing. Unmarried couples have the freedom to love together while unmarried mothers can raise children.
- Remaining childless or single is acceptable throughout society.
The changes mentioned above in family structure reflect the changing culture. These are the changes that have shaped the modern family structure. The modern family structure is entirely different from the family of the past. Earlier, families were embedded in the community, but families of recent times are private places. There are very few functions served by modern families in the field of entertainment, education, and religious socialization. There is this complete absence of structures that mediate closeness amongst the family members.