Family Structure and Patterns Have Changed a Lot. Is The Institution of Family in Crisis?
- The family institution remains highly recognized in society today regardless of the changing customs, rules, and values. It is the point of the first interactions among the various members of society. The family unit has remained the primary agent of socialization (Symbaluk & Bereska, 2019, p. 24).
- Thesis Statement: The modern social changes affect the family institution positively and negatively, leading to the changes from the traditional function and social order, leading to the belief that the family institution is in a crisis.
- Fertility rates are on a decline in Canada, while life expectancy is on the increase. In effect, the number of childbearing women is on a decline.
- Low fertility has led to a decrease in the average size of families.
- Postponement of families affects the fertility rates because women attain menopause before having children.
- Many women choose to remain childless in Canada hence many of them live in households without children.
Changes in Household Structure
- Lower fertility rates and the growing aging population have led to many families having few or no children. 40% of households one child on average (Symbaluk & Bereska, 2015, p. 100).
- Increased divorce rate and separation in families have led to an increase in single-parenthood. Fewer people are getting married, and those who do are likely to end up in divorce. Divorce affects children, with the majority having to live with one of the parents.
- The average childbearing age has increased from 24 years to 29 years. Many people get married after having children (Conway, 2003, p. 74). Countries with higher cohabitation rates have a high number of children born outside marriage.
Family Life and Work-Life Balance
- Higher education level among the females has affected their participation in the labor market. Many of the married mothers have jobs that help them contribute to the daily running of the family units.
- Women tend to concentrate less on career development, especially after marriage. Employers fail to motivate women into advancing their careers because of the family interruptions like childbearing.
- Most of the Canadian couples (60%) are dual-earner families because of the increased cost of living (Ward, 2002, p. 21-22).
- Joblessness and poverty in households relate to the parents on paid jobs. Households with both parents are likely to have at least one or both of them on permanent employment. Children in single-parent families are likely to face poverty out of the unemployment of a parent.
- Parents have to get unpaid work to care for children, leading to a reduction in family income.
Well-being of Children
- As much as household income has augmented in the past 30 years, the general poverty among the children has slightly increased.
- Despite the low infant mortality rates, many children have been born with low weight for the last 30 years.
- The country has a functional education system; however, many of the youths of ages 15-19 are not in employment (McDaniel & Tepperman, 2015, p. 54-55). The number of children Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) who score above average fail to secure employment or further their education.
- It is obvious that families are changing; however, data indicate that the government is doing much to ensure that families remain the unit of society.
Conway, J. F. (2003). The Canadian Family in Crisis.5th Ed. James Lorimer & amp Company.
McDaniel & Tepperman. (2015). Close Relation: An Introduction to the Sociology of Families.Nelson
Ward, B. (2002). The Family Dynamic: Canadian Perspective. Pearson Education Canada.
Symbaluk, D. G. & Bereska, T. M. (2015). Sociology in Action: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd Ed. Nelson