12 Pages
2881 Words

The concept of nuclear family in Australia has undergone dramatic changes since colonialism to present day. Structural forces such as industrialisation, technology, feminist movement, marriage and multiculturalism have modified the nuclear family to its present state. Institutional forces such as government (legislative), church and education have followed this metamorphosis by incorporating and embracing these changes to its modality. Thus changing structural forces in Australian society have compelled institutional forces to make modifications accordingly.

The nuclear family is the "traditional” concept of a family it consisted of father, mother and their children with the mother not being in paid employment and the father being the sole breadwinner. The family or the household is one of the main institutions in society. It is here that almost all the consumption in society takes place. The make-up of the family is not as "cut and dry" as it once was. Social forces have modified the nuclear family, the structural and institutional forces such as multiculturalism, the feminist movement, education, the church and the government alter the notion of the nuclear family. The nuclear family is as it was, is dead, and what has replaced it has put all old theories about the family to the test.

In the 19th century, there was a prevalent argument amongst scientists that the more primitive the society, the more extended were its family systems; or the more developed it was, the more the family system followed the nuclear pattern. The broad conclusion was drawn and held that the extended family had been a victim of the industrial revolution (Ogburn and Tibbits 1963). These arguments were refined by the structural-functional sociologists of the 1950s. These writers referred to the process of differentiation (societal units becoming more specialised) in modernising societies - that is, as a society modernises, its units become increasin...

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