Sociology – Industrialisation Essay

Using material from item B and elsewhere, assess the claim that industrialisation led to the break up of the extended family. Industrialisation came about in the early 1900s. It was the growth of manufacturing and agricultural farmers went to the urban areas leaving the rural land behind looking for work. People say that industrilisation was the cause that led to the break up of the extended family. Talcott Parsons believed in the functionalist theory. He believed the family had all its different parts the play to make it successful.

He believed the family was a unit of production and everyone had to provide for the family, this meant that they all shared the roles of a breadwinner. He suggested that pre-industrial family was essentially extended in order to function well. Families depended on extended members in order to live and work together because it would be the most efficient way to live. Working in agriculture was a hard laboring job very much dependent on teamwork. By living together they could benefit from economic factors such as the production of food.

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An educational function of teaching each other the way off the land but also provided a sense of safety and comfort support. Industrialiastion brought about the decline of extended families and introduces the isolated nuclear family as families moved to the city looking for jobs. This means that there was less reliance on other members of the family and the roles of the family became more isolated. This is where the idea of the nuclear family was created. A nuclear family was simply parents and their children. No extended family was involved.

The nuclear family was said to come about due to the fact that it was considered to have easier geographically mobility to the the bigger cities. Taking other members of family was unpractical as it would be harder to look after a large family in urban areas. Parsons would agree with the statement that industrialisation was the main cause that led to the break up of the extended family as it made the family more isolated. Families depended less on each other and depended more on the male model of the family who was considered the breadwinner.