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Encyclopedia > Nuclear family

The term nuclear family developed in the western world to distinguish the family group consisting of parents (usually a father and mother) and their children, from what is known as an extended family. Nuclear families can be any size, as long as the family can support itself and there are only parents and children (or the family is an extended family.) According to Merriam-Webster the term dates back to 1947 and is therefore relatively new, although nuclear family structures themselves are not.[1][2] Generally, the trend to shift from extended to nuclear family structures has been supported by the spread of western values. Today roughly one quarter of households in the United States, for example, are described as consisting of nuclear families, making them the third most common household arrangement in the nation.[3] The term Western world, the West or the Occident (Latin occidens -sunset, -west, as distinct from the Orient) [1] can have multiple meanings dependent on its context (e. ... A family in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by analogous or comparable relationships — including domestic partnership, cohabitation, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the... Father with child For other uses, see Father (disambiguation). ... Faces of mother and child; detail of sculpture at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Female mallard duck and ducklings. ... Extended family (or joint family) is a term with several distinct meanings. ... Extended family (or joint family) is a term with several distinct meanings. ... Merriam-Webster, originally known as the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a United States company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Websters An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). ... Year 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Varying usages of the term

In its most common usage, the term "nuclear family" refers to a household consisting of a father, a mother and their children (siblings).[4] George Murdock also describes the term in this way: Father with child For other uses, see Father (disambiguation). ... Faces of mother and child; detail of sculpture at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Female mallard duck and ducklings. ... “Children” redirects here. ... For the first mayor of Calgary, Alberta, see George Murdoch George Peter Murdock (May 11, 1897 - March 29, 1985) was a notable anthropologist. ...

The family is a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It contains adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.

Some also use the term to describe single-parent households and families in which the parents are a "non-conjugal" couple.


It can also be used to mean the host of countries containing or investing in nuclear technology.


Extended family compared to nuclear family

Main article: Extended family

Around the world, the structure of family norms are different. Ideas of what constitute a family changes based on culture, mobility, wealth, and tradition. In many cultures, the need to be self-supporting is hard to meet, particularly where rents/property values are very high, and the foundation of a new household can be an obstacle to nuclear family formation instead of extended family forms (or people remaining single while living longer with their parents). Extended family (or joint family) is a term with several distinct meanings. ...


In India, legislation promoting the nuclear family has been decried as eroding the traditional Hindu joint family. [1] A unique family grouping prevalent among Hindus of the Indian subcontinent consisting of many generations living under the same roof. ...


Changes to family formation

Family arrangements in the US have become more diverse with no particular households arrangement being prevelant enough to be indentified as the average.
Family arrangements in the US have become more diverse with no particular households arrangement being prevelant enough to be indentified as the average.[3]

Sociology studies families and their formation, attempting to detail the difference between families. The numerical decline of the nuclear family is highlighted by: Image File history File links Families_US.png‎ I created the graph myself using US Census Bureau data published in the sociology book, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships by Brian K. Williams, Stacey C. Sawyer, and Carl M. Wahlstrom. ... Image File history File links Families_US.png‎ I created the graph myself using US Census Bureau data published in the sociology book, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships by Brian K. Williams, Stacey C. Sawyer, and Carl M. Wahlstrom. ...

  • Increase in sole occupancy dwellings and smaller family sizes
  • Average age of marriage being older
  • Average number of children decreasing and first birth at later age
  • The historical pattern of fertility. From baby boom to baby bust (instability)
  • The aging population. The trend towards greater life expectancy.
  • Rising divorce rates and people who will never marry.[5]

In The United States nuclear families now consititute a minority of households with rising prevelance of other family arrangement such as blended families, binuclear families, single-parent families. Today nuclear families constitute roughly 24.1% of households, compared 40.3% in 1970.[3] Roughly 75% of all children in the United States will spend at least some time in a single-parent household.

"The nuclear family... is the idealized version of what most people think when they think of "family..." The old definition of what a family is... the nuclear family- no longer seems adequate to cover the wide diversity of household arrangements we see today, according to many social scientists (Edwards 1991; Stacey 1996). Thus has arisen the term postmodern family, which is meant to describe the great variablity in family forms, including single-parent families and child-free couples."- Brian K. Williams, Stacey C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005.[3]

See also

Complex Family is a generic term for any family structure involving more than two adults. ... Extended family (or joint family) is a term with several distinct meanings. ... The term human bond, or more generally human bonding, refers to the process or formation of a close personal relationship, as between a parent and child, especially through frequent or constant association. ... An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to promote a much higher degree of social interaction than other communities. ... Kibbutz Dan, near Qiryat Shemona, in the Upper Galilee, 1990s A kibbutz (Hebrew: ; plural: kibbutzim: קיבוצים; gathering or together) is an Israeli collective intentional community. ...

External links

References

  1. ^ Grief, Avner (2005). "Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origin and Implications of Western Corporatism"
  2. ^ Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance (2006). "Types of marriages in the Bible, and today"
  3. ^ a b c d Williams, Brian; Stacey C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom (2005). Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships. Boston, MA: Pearson. ISBN 0-205-36674-0. 
  4. ^ Merriam-Webster Online. ../ "Definition of nuclear family"
  5. ^ Ibid., Bittman (1997)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Nuclear family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (202 words)
A nuclear family (sometimes known in the British sociological term, cornflake family) is a household consisting of two married, heterosexual parents and their legal children (siblings), as distinct from the extended family.
While the family is a near-universal cultural phenomenon, nuclear families do not form the family unit in every society.
Nuclear families are typical in societies where people must be relatively mobile — such as hunter-gatherers and industrial societies.
Family - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2833 words)
From the perspective of children, the family is a family of orientation: the family serves to locate children socially, and plays a major role in their enculturation and socialization.
From the point of view of the parent(s), the family is a family of procreation the goal of which is to produce and enculturate and socialize children.
A notable subset of this family type is the nuclear family, in which one woman has one husband and they raise their children together.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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