Task2 - Lifestyle >> Changing Families

"Changing Families"

Family life today is very different to that of 100 years ago.

What are the main changes that have taken place?

How do you think family life will change in the future?

The family unit is a base for all civilization. Families provide a secure and nurturing environment that both children and adults can depend on. While nobody can deny the importance of families, significant changes are evident between the families of the past and families of today. Moreover, the families of tomorrow may also have taken an entirely different structure.

The families of a century ago were extended. That is, these social groups contained many individuals. Brothers, sisters, uncle, aunties, parents and grandparents all lived under the one roof and supported each other where possible. Family members were designated roles, and each member of the family contributed to the general well being of the collective. This social structure had significant advantages, as the "human resource" of an extensive family is substantial.

However, the families of today, particularly in Western countries, are nuclear. This means that these modern families usually contain only parents and children and quite often young adults are encouraged to leave the family home as soon as they finish school. The main advantage to this social structure is financial stability, as many nuclear families are able to draw dual incomes to support one or two children.

In my opinion there is only one possible scenario for the future of the family. This possibility involves a return to a more extended family, however, this social group may be more of a communal collective as opposed to an exclusive collection of blood relatives. In the future, people may chose to live in large group households to enjoy the support of a range of individuals that are not necessarily direct relatives.

Whatever does happen in the future, there is no doubt that the family unit will continue to be a vital source of strength for all the people of the world.