The cereal packet image of the family has mom, dad and the children breakfasting together. People who don't follow the pattern of this nuclear family used to be considered deviants. This picture perfect image of a family is gone. The concept of the new family includes the extended family, the same-sex family, and the childless or single-person household. There is also the blended family, in which members are often migrants forced to share dwelling by circumstance.The family linked by biological ties has been supplanted by a setup characterized less and less by biological relationships and more and more by elements of diversity. The extended family is getting to be the rule in some cultures, such as China and the Philippines, where as many as three generations live together. This is usually exacerbated by economic difficulties, which drive up the costs of property and housing. In Australia, it is also becoming commonplace among the indigenous people who are forced to share a roof by poverty, housing scarcity and racism. If they don't share a house, the Australian minorities move regularly between houses of kin in the country and the city.The new family is influenced by the growing diversities in five distinct aspects. These diversities involve organization, culture, life cycle, family life course and social class. Culture is the underlying factor behind the extended families, which usually consist of migrant households, while organization is behind the families that take shape out of divorce and remarriage. Life cycle diversity, on the other hand, reflects in families separated by generation gaps such as the baby boomers and people of the new generation. As for family life course, it is seen in the divergent priorities held by its members at the different stages of their lives. For the purpose of this essay, we fix our attention on the influences of social class in creating families with attributes and characteristics different in many ways from the kind we used to go home to. Social class also invokes economic factors, which could be the biggest obstacles to the making of a happy, fulfilling and ideal family.
The New Family
Torrant, J. (2006) places the new family into four categories:
Divorce-extended families - these include spouses, ex-spouses, new spouses and all these spouses' children.
Transnational families - these consist of couples from different cultures who have contracted an inter-racial marriage. Families are given the same tag if their members live in different countries.
Cohabiting couples - members of families formed out of cohabitation are often stigmatized and looked down by society.
Same-sex couples - these consist of gays or lesbians, who if not childless bring up children developed through in-vitrio fertilization.
Obviously, Torrant, J. (2006) does not give much significance on single-person households, but this type of families is as much a cause for concern to those who cherish the ideal family values. In UK, for example, single-person households are expected to be the predominant type in 2010, accounting for 40 percent of all households (Simpson, R. (2003). The same kinds of households are expected to grow in Australia from 1.6 million in 1996 to 3.4 million in 2010. These expected number and rate of increase are definitely bigger than those on same-sex couples. In Australia alone, the 2001 census placed same-sex couples at 19,594, which was twice the number listed in 1996 but the figure is just a fraction of the total number of households in that country (Saggers, S. & Sims, M., 2005).
In a study of family relationships in Australia, Poole, M. detected new patterns of partnerships arising from a decline in fertility, changing roles for fathers, children acting as consumers, ageing population, intimacy and power.