Course Title: Bachelor of Community Service
Unit code: SAP 101
Unit name: Australian Society, System and Policies
Assessment number: 3B
Trimester year: Trimester 1 2020
Australian Family Structure
Family structures of different countries vary from one another. Culture plays an important part in the construction of any family structure. There are various kinds of family structure prevalent across the world. Each of those family structures consists of different cultural and social views on the basis of which the family members have to live in that society. Australian family structure follows the concept of a nuclear family. Family with husband, wife and a child is the main ideal concept of such families living there (Parihar, Dahiya & Billaiya, 2017). Although the idea of the extended family is not totally eliminated, yet the number of such families is becoming rare day by day. Australians value the ideas of individualism, and as a result, they value the nuclear family culture where most of the emphasis was given on the concept of self-independence and following personal passion and aspirations. The nuclear family concept is becoming widespread in Australia.
Australian Family Structure
Family structure and their composition depend mainly on the concept with which the contemporary people of Australia are living. The Nuclear family conviction is much common than Extended family due to an increase in the divorce rate, parents of the same sex or single mother family are becoming much more common. As the disgrace related to same-sex relationships diminishes, the cultural harmony in the society is depleting. Moreover, the concept of having a child with one parent born overseas and later settling in Australia is becoming much common. (Parihar, Dahiya & Billaiya, 2017).
The concept of traditional or extended family structure is diminishing from the society, the emphasis on the people living in a Nuclear family is given and the members of the family remain important to each other for the rest of their lives. The idea of a Nuclear family promotes individualism, children are taught from the very beginning to value themselves, to think themselves as special and unique. Moreover, the societal freedom of following one’s passion and working on it, rather than following the trends with which other people of the society are working on, makes the culture of Australian society much more lenient than other societal platforms prevalent on other countries. Discrimination among the LGBTI community, people of different caste, on the basis of traditional societal norms is becoming much more concerning among the people living in that society. In spite of the pressure of following societal norms, the Nuclear family and diversity of its various types emerging in Australia prove the diversified mentality of the people residing there. (Reynolds, 2018)
Concept of Nuclear Family in Australia
However, the concept of planned future is also creating a huge impact on the theory of Nuclear family. Lack of gender inequality is providing key resources to women to have a proper education and work on a part-time or full-time job. Gender equality and the education provided to the women’s, impact on their ability to plan their future. In order to provide their children with proper education and secured future, they work on their financial freedom at a very early age. For this reason, most of the women in Australia are more likely to give birth to their first child between the ages range of 25-34. Advancement in technology and the advent of IVF technology are helping women of those age groups after the ’30s to have their first baby. As a result, a single mother family is becoming much more common in Australia. Also, the LGBTI community is aiding the concept of same-sex relationships and providing societal help to them in forming a new type of Nuclear family. In such a case, children are having parents of the same sex. (Alexeyeff, Turner, 2018)
Increasing divorce rates also have an impact on children’s concept of family structure. At a very early age living with step-parents is creating a diversified notion about parents and parenting. Children’s growing up with their step-parents enhances the conviction of doing so in the future with their own son. Although the stigma in the concept of step-parents to be much brutal, research shows that in Australia children living with step-parents are provided with all the necessities and luxury while growing up with them. Having a beautiful childhood with step-parents, shrinking the negativity notion about the brutal behaviour of step-parents is creating a positive aura in the concept of such a Nuclear family. (Roy, Maity, Dutta, 2017)
Although the Nuclear family has several merits such as -cost-effective living, the concept of planned future; the major setback that a Nuclear family has to go through is a lack of financial support from other members in the family which is provided by an extended family. Extended family also has the positive mentality of living together, helping out each other in difficult times and sharing the same household decreases burden from individual’s shoulder, but such merits are not available in a Nuclear family structure, as a result sometimes family burdens become inevitable for the main earning member of the family. (Litwak, Figueira, 2020)
Also in a Nuclear family structure, the type of parenting is very different. Corporal punishment is not profoundly used by Australian parents. Disciple and living in order is what Australian parents taught their children from the very beginning of their life, rewarding children for good behaviour and withdrawing privileges for bad behaviour as violence to any family member is unacceptable in Australian societal structure. (Roopnarine & Yildirim, 2016)
Advancement in technology is making it possible for women of certain age groups to have babies in the later part of their life. As gender equality has much more prevailed in Australia, a number of women working on the part-time or full-time job are much higher. So the system of planned future enhances the concept of Nuclear family to be much more predominant as extended family possesses a burden of other thoughts to be implemented in someone’s life forcefully. In the Nuclear family structure, live-in culture has become more predominant. Also, the ideals of a single-parent family are becoming much more intriguing due to the increasing divorce rate, and people of the same sex living together came into existence. Also, its demerits have to be taken into consideration such as lack of support from other family members, lack of cultural harmony in a family. The concept of the Nuclear family with its merits and demerits is becoming the foremost family structure in Australia.