The condition of a family is said to be one of the most essential factors in the society, more especially in the life of every individual. This often serves as the primary foundation of an individual’s core-values of, a source of inspiration for the people, and means of strength to be able to face the challenge and difficulties of life. In a sense, the position of the family is seen vital in the existence of people for this renders identity for every individual.
In most circumstances, an individual or a person is often regarded as the reflection or representation of his or her family where anything he or she does reflects the characteristics and the type of a family that he or she grew up with (Landa). In addition to this, the stance or the position of family is highlighted as one of the most important sector of the society which renders an individual with the kind of moral, social and economic support as a member of the family and as a part of the human society (Landa).
Moreover, there are far more significant and fundamental roles which the family portrays in the society, more especially in the development of life of every individual living in this world. One of this is the fact that the position of family often serves as the comfort zone of every individual in this world that is filled with difficulties and anxieties.
It is usually seen as the breeding ground for those who are troubled and are in need of appropriate care which is that of the guidance of parents and support from the rest of the family members. In addition to this, one of the most imperative roles which the family is portraying is seen to be more distinct in the life of an individual during childhood wherein it helps a person to further improve and develop personal characteristics and acquire the appropriate behavior in becoming one of the responsible citizens and the future of the society.
It also helps in strengthening the capabilities of a person and in gaining the required self-confidence of an individual to be able to survive socially and economically. On the other hand, the presence of family is also seen as significance in the society wherein the position of family is seen to be a vital factor in the development and performance of a certain society.
An example of this is that family helps uphold a healthy and peaceful human community wherein the importance of family is cited as a sector in the family which has the hands-on capabilities in producing and molding responsible and valuable citizens that could pave the way towards nation-building and forming a wealthy society in both social and economical background. It is also believed that family portrays a very important role in preserving ethnicity and culture.
Thus, through the occurrence of family, the cultural beliefs and/or the customary way of life could possibly be transferred and preserved from the old to the modern generations of people. However, apart from this evident details and realities about the significance and role of family in the society and in the life of every individual, there are still various causes as to why the number of family is in decline, more especially now in the 21st century, which jeopardizes the position of family in portraying vital social responsibilities (Lost family role in society).
Probable Causes Why Family is in Decline Thus, as the world continuous evolves and as the new or modern technologies continuously increases its dominance in the society and in the life of people, the fundamental role and significance of family is seen to have been changing and losing its traditional social importance.
With the fact that most of the leading human civilization in the global community is now predominated by modernity and industrial society, the traditional concept of a family is seen to have been falling apart. In a sense, it can be said that one of the most probable reasons as to why the family is in decline, more especially in the modern or present time, is because of the contemporary views about family and its role in the modern world or society and in the present way of living of the people.
If in ancient time the family is regarded as the most important sector in the society that could primarily render the suitable support for an individual such as that of the social and economical assistance that serves as the prime source of survival in life, such position and role of the family is now shared by the occurrence of government, more especially at this time where the modern economy or the industrial society could fund such financial assistance for the people and societal care through social welfare department program.
Thus, through this it can be said that the significance and distinctiveness of family diminishes in which such support or assistance from the government, more especially in developing countries, could possibly affect the standpoint of the parents to defend in this aid and may become reluctant of their fundamental responsibilities to attend and support the needs of their family through their own hard work and sacrifices.
With the fact that modernity and/or industrialism comes with a new way of thinking that is seen as unconventional or liberated, the mentality of people about family is seen to have been affected by these social changes which add up to the list of causes as to why family is in decline.
For instance, with the notion that majority of the people now, more especially in the fully-developed countries, refer to marriage as a plain commitment in which they are only bound to face distress instead of citing it as a solemn vow in having a family is indeed one of the significant factors that affects the social stance of family in modern human civilization. As such, there are also more and more couples who are accepting the concept of live-in arrangements rather than to have their love for each other to be formalize and receive the holy matrimony that could further strengthen their relationship as a couple and start their family.
True enough such modern thinking and liberated views about having and starting a family are indeed of the major factors responsible in disintegrating the position of family. Furthermore, it is also believed that the legion of the modern liberated policies with regard to various critical social issues such as annulment or divorce and abortion are seen to portray a major participation in the decline of family.
With the fact that this liberated policy which legalizes the annulment of marriage and/or committing a divorce renders the people a legal way to cancel their vows and legal obligations should their marriage not work out well as expected, it increases the tendency of producing and raising the rate of broken family which is indeed alarming for it further deteriorates the down-fall of family and its vital social significance in the society.
In addition to this, the legalization of abortion is also seen as one of the probable causes in the decline of family for it controls and serves as a barrier towards starting a family and limits the natural growth of the people in the society. Nonetheless, the current worldwide financial situation and poverty is also seen as responsible in the decline of family in the society, more especially among the third world countries where extreme poverty exist.
Due to the associated financial difficulties and responsibilities in having a family, some of the people in developing countries prefer not to have a family for such an early stage in their lives, not until they are financially and emotionally stable to build their family. In addition to this, for fully-developed countries which requires larger amount of workforce to be able to sustain its economic stability and the mentality of the people earn more money is a probable cause in the decline of family wherein this career is seen to be of a greater priority than getting married and starting in family.
Perspectives of James Fulcher and John Scott In the earlier parts of the book “Sociology” written by James Fulcher and John Scott, the decline of the family has already been emphasized. There are changes that are associated with the external environment upon which these families exist in, which is naturally composed of the society, and the stakeholders within it that lead to the decline of the families today. On a larger note, Fulcher and Scott mentioned that hanges in family life, as more people have decided to live on their own, more couples have cohabited without marriage, women have increasingly found employment in paid work, divorce rates have risen, and the number of single-parent families has increased. (5). There are four large and important points that have been pointed out by Fulcher and Scott in the said statement above in relation to the revolution seen from the setting of today’s families as compared to the past. It is important to tackle each one of these separately to gain full understanding of the reason as to why families are seen to be in decline.
Staying Single: Living on their Own There are different reasons as to why individuals today chose to remain single that led to a decline in the families formed. A primary reason that could surface is the need of the people to prepare for the responsibilities of entering into a family and the associated elements of it such as having a child. More and more people prefer to stay into the status of being single and move their marriages to a later part of their life where it is felt that they have become more stable and are ready for the challenges that they could face with this particular face in their life (Giddens & Griffiths 237).
Likewise, the present pace at which events of today occur, with the advent of information and communication technology, have increased the demands for the people in different aspects such as in building their career. In doing so, it leads them to focus, prioritize, and spend more time in making their career grow and set aside chances of getting married. Likewise, a family may be seen as a barrier to these priorities that is why there is a sector of the population which decides to stay single and remain alone.
Living Together Without Marriage Likewise, there are also couples who have committed their selves to become a part of a family. More likely than not, most of the legal definitions that bind the concept of a family includes the element of marriage between the couples and as stated by the Family Service America, Inc wherein “a family consists of two or more people, whether living together or apart, related by blood, marriage, adoption, or commitment to care for one another” (Holland, Murray, & Reingold 184).
The said choice of living together under one roof without marriage is taken to be a personal choice of the persons involved herein. Arrangements of living together without marriage is backed up by several reasons and whether it be for practical reasons or personal reasons, it has made a great impact on the status of the families in the present generation. Increasing Employment Opportunities for Women While women are given some sociological roles that keep them from working outside the homes, it has already changed to accommodate a more equal approach in different aspects especially in the professional field.
Noticeably, there are legal statutes that give women the chance to excel in the field that they wish to be a part of and is given no limit in the things that they wanted to do. There is the belief that anything that the male population does, the females are to be given the same opportunity and chance. As more and more females enter the labor force, the chance of forming a family has become harder especially for those females who are career-oriented.
There are difficulties which are experienced when it comes to making the responsibilities within the family and the career meet especially as both demands for great attention from the female. Increase in the Number of Single-Parent Households In relation to the changes happening in the society today and with the setting of the family, there is a noticeable increase in the number of single-parent households wherein there are more and more individuals who are left to become single parents due to several causes.
It may be their choice or not but it has contributed to the decline in the nature of the families and that it gave way to losses in families that could have been a part of the society. In conclusion, with the above written facts and information it can be said that the position of family in the society has indeed varied from its traditional role to its modern functions. Thus, given that people continues to shape relationships and the numbers of children are seen to be constantly increasing, the role of modern family is getting more defined and the causes of the decline in family is seen be getting evident and increasing.
Nonetheless, the basic functions of the family has always been regarded as extremely important wherein despite of the many changes in the role and significance of family as modernization continuous to spread across the global society, it has become evident that the traditional family structure appears to be of vital importance in the society and in the life of the people.