General Article The modern family: how the notion of family has evolved

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting Book Volume: 417

The concept of family is not the 2.4 nuclear picture we saw a century ago. In the modern world, family means different things to different people. 

How we view family life has changed and evolved dramatically. In today’s society, families come in all shapes, sizes and dynamics and this week, we wanted to take a closer look at the evolution. 

What’s driven the change?

A number of factors have contributed to the making of today’s modern family. From higher divorce rates, fluctuations in the number of people getting married and those choosing to cohabit, to changing attitudes to the nuclear family dynamic. 

Since 1981 the number of marriages every year has fallen by a third. According to the Office for National Statistics, fewer people are getting married than at any time in more than 100 years. But while marriage is decreasing, that doesn’t mean families are; the family dynamic has just changed. We’re seeing more families with unmarried parents, but still living together and working t...

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