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 transform into 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 had designated roles, and each member of the family contributed to the general well-being of the collective. This social structure has significant advantages, as the "human resource" of an expansive 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 of this social structure is to encourage independence in young people.

Moving to the future, in my opinion there is one likely scenario for the family structure. I believe there is a possibility of a return to a more extended family, however, the 'family' may be more of a communal collective as opposed to an exclusive collection of blood relatives. In the future, people may choose 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.