What do we mean by ‘life cycle’?• On a personal level, you will probably live in a variety of family and household situations during your life.• How you have lived as a child will be very different to how you live as a student, a single person, an employee, a married person.• Each of us will have a different life cycle linked to where we are born, our class, gender, ethnicity and the choices we make throughout our lives.
An example• Nikki born into a nuclear family (aged 0- 13)• Her parents divorce and she experiences life with her mother as a single parent family (aged 13-18)• She goes to university and shares a flat in a communal household (aged 18-21)• Nikki lives alone as a singleton (aged 21- 25)
• Nikki falls in love with Pete and they live as a cohabiting couple (aged 25-28)• They marry and have 2 children. Nikki is a nuclear family again (aged 28-48)• The children leave home and Pete and Nikki are an ‘empty nest’ family (aged 48- 78)• Pete dies and Nikki lives alone again as a singleton (aged 78-100)
Now write up an example yourself• Think of someone you know• It could be someone in your family – an older member would be best to show the possible range of family/household situations
What do the theorists say?Robert Chester (1985)Argues that for most people the nuclear family is still the most typical family.He argues that single parent families normally come from nuclear families and many single parents will remarry and become nuclear families again.Even though many couple cohabit, he argues most will eventually go on to marry