Five Types of Family Diversity AS Sociology: The Rapoports
Rhona & Robert Rapoports (1982) Diversity is central to understanding the modern family Believe we’ve moved away from the traditional nuclear family British families have adapted to a pluralistic society– this is one in which cultures & lifestyle are more diverse. They have identified five different types of family diversity in Britain today.
1) Organisational Diversity Refers to differences in the way family roles are organised. Examples: Some couples have joint conjugal roles and are joint- wage-earners. Segregated conjugal roles and one wage earner.
2) Cultural Diversity Different cultural, religious and ethnic groups have different family structures. Example: There is a higher proportion of female-headed families among Afro-Caribbean households. Can you think of an example based on the above?
3) Social Class Diversity Differences in family structure are partly the result of income differences between households of different classes. This also affects child-rearing practices. In relation to the 2 points above, discuss the following with the person sat next to you: Royal family Income support families Hollywood actors and actresses Poorly educated adults with children
4) Life-Stage Diversity Family structure depends on the point at which you find yourself in your life-cycle. Examples: Newlyweds Couples with children Retired couples whose children have left home Widows/widowers who live alone
5) Generational Diversity Defined as older and younger generations having different attitudes and experiences that reflect the historical periods in which they have lived. Example: Morality about divorce, cohabitation, children born outside of marriage & homosexuality might be very controversial to one generation and a non-issue to another.
Check Your Understanding Suggest two reasons why there might be differences in child-rearing practices between middle-class and working class families. Suggest two ways in which cultural or religious factors may affect family structures or relationships.