Examine sociological reasons for family diversity in East London
SOCIOLOGICAL REASONS FOR FAMILY DIVERSITY 6
Examinesociological reasons for family diversity in East London
Examinesociological reasons for family diversity in East London
Familydiversity has largely been defined as the existence of various typesof families across the world. It is evident that there are varioustypes of families in different parts of the world that are regardedas the right or normal families (Demo,2009).However, due to various sociological factors, marriage hasdiversified and has resulted in numerous forms of families. In theUnited Kingdom, and especially in East London, there are numeroustypes of families which include, gay-lesbian families, nuclearfamilies, reconstituted families, single parent families amongothers. It is imperative to point out that East London constitutesthe north eastern part of London. It is also critical to note thatEast London is a densely populated area with a population of over twomillion people. East London has also been regarded as an areapopulated with people from different geographical, race and ethnicbackgrounds. Research has indicated that there has been a change inthe structure and orientation of families across the world in thepast decade. Whereas nuclear families were the dominant paradigm inthe early 1990s, it is evident that other forms of families haveevolved over time (Baker,2007).This paper seeks to identify and explain various sociological reasonsthat have seen East London experience exponential levels of familydiversity in recent years.
Immigrationof people into East London has been a main reason of the familydiversity in that region. It is not a surprise to meet whites marriedto blacks and vice versa. In addition, it is vital to note that thereare other numerous races such as Jews, Indians, Chinese and evenJapanese who have intermarried with the native residents of EastLondon hence exacerbating family diversity in the region (Patterson,2002).It is also imperative to point out that there are numerous immigrantsinto East London who have left children back in their countries, butthey end marrying or getting married to native people in East Londonhence forming blended families.
Itis a fact that gay marriages are common in western countriesespecially in the United Kingdom. The case has been the same forlesbian marriages. It is estimated that there are approximately 1.5%gay and lesbian couples in East London (Selwood,2010).It is clear that this is a new form of marriage that only expandedthe aspect of family diversity in the area (Selwood,2010).Whereas gay and lesbian couples may be technically unable to bearchildren, it is vital to note that a majority of them get into thesemarriages when they already have children. Equally, the lesbian andthe gay couples may opt to adopt children in order to complete theirmarriage. A majority of the people who are extremely religious haveblamed secularism for the evolvement of gay and lesbian marriages.Secularism has been another major reason for the family diversity inEast London. Numerous couples have lost the morals that guide and/ormaintain a family (Baker, 2008). This has led to numerous familybreakups in the area and hence numerous single parents. It isnoteworthy that single parenting is a type of a family, which hasdiversified families in East London.
Womenhave always been viewed as inferior in a majority of cultures andsocieties across the world. As a consequence, there has been numerousfeminism campaigns that seek to fight for the rights and equality ofwomen. Such feminism campaigns has had a tremendous effect on thestructure of families in East London, as well as across the world(Erera,2007).A majority of women have decided to remain as single parents in orderto avoid relying on men. This has led to increased singe familieswhere young mothers remain unmarried and yet they have one or twochildren. It is noteworthy that women who remain as single mothersfeel independent and empowered (Struening,2008).The United Kingdom is one of the regions in the world where genderrights and equality have been in top gear for the last decade. Suchfeminism campaigns have expanded into other parts of the world andtheir effect on family structures are eminent.
EastLondon has had numerous asylum seekers who are accommodated asrefugees. These refugees are largely dependent on support from thegovernment. The social and economic welfare of these refugees andtheir families is at an alarming state and worrying. A study carriedout in 2002 by Emory University London School of Hygiene andTropical Medicine indicated that two thirds of children in refugeefamilies faced hunger (EuropeanCongress of Family Science, & Kapella, 2010).It goes without saying that such poor welfare states would havetremendous effects on family structures. There has been increasedfamily breakups as a result of poverty hence leading to singlefamilies (Platt,2007).When such breakups occur, the parents might get remarried henceleading to blended marriages. The reasons for remarrying might be toseek economic stability and appropriate social welfare (Lerneretal,2006).
Themass media has also been in the frontline in the fight for womenrights, as well as the rights of lesbians, gays and the bisexuals. Asa consequence, there has been increased cases of gay and lesbianmarriages in Eastern London. The publicity accorded to gay andlesbians has attracted numerous people into this form of orientation(Cropley,2010).In addition, mass media has continually been a tool for advocatingfor the independence and empowerment of women. This has had a greatimpact on women who have believed in themselves even more than theyhave done before. This has resulted in increased forms of singlefamilies where women choose to bring up their children on their own(Hanson,2010).
Familydiversity in East London can also be attributed to changing sexualorientations amongst the people. Whereas in the 1990s people wereonly attracted to people of the opposite sex, that orientation has sofar changed. People are now attracted to the either the opposite sex,same sex or both sexes. This has affected the family structure wherethere has been increased same sex marriages (Selwood,2010).It also noteworthy that the social attitudes towards the institutionof marriage has changed drastically. Marriage is no longer viewedwith sanctity that it deserves. This has led to numerous youthsdeciding to remain couples but stay in separate homes.
Inconclusion, it is evident that the family institution has gonethrough various structural changes as a result of the sociologicalfactors that surround it. The family has been diversified to includenew forms of families. It is, however, vital to note that the nuclearfamily still remains the morally recognized form of marriage(Selwood,2010).The family diversity in East London has largely been influenced bysociological reasons such as immigration, welfare states, mass media,and ethnicity among others.
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