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Social Trend in the United Kingdom

Households and families

Single Parent Families in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, most families are single parents and a significant number of children grow up in a family that does not have both biological fathers. One of the social trends that is alarming is that many families in the United Kingdom are fatherless, a factor that have far reaching effects on the households as well as the children in such a family. This state of affairs can be attributed to such things as divorce and births outside a marriage. There are also the changes in the way people are viewing marriage and cohabitation. It is important to note that the ideals of a marriage are still highly regarded by some people in the United Kingdom and this is why there still exist the traditional families of a father, mother, and children. However, some people feel that the traditional setting of a marriage is a thing of the past and hence are not committed to their families (Ermisch, 239).

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This kind of social trend has far reaching effects to the households and families. One of the underlying effects is that families that are fatherless are very prone to poverty. Single mothers in the United Kingdom have been noted to be living in abject poverty compared to other families. Lone mothers also have the tendency to suffer from psychological problems such as stress and depression and may require the services of a psychologist more than other mothers of normal families. Apart from psychological problems, single mothers also are at risk of other health problems and may have problems interacting with their children (Haskey, 47).

The children are also affected by the lack of a father figure in the family. This can be attributed to the fact that a father is very important especially for growing up children. It has been noted that many children who come from a fatherless family also tend to develop psychological problems which can be manifested in their adult life. This can be very destructive to the livelihood of the children. It has been noted that children of fatherless families are more likely to become teenage parents. These children are also likely to be engaged in anti-social behavior which may be harmful to society at large and also to them (Social Trends 32, 49).

Low-Income Families in the United Kingdom

Families in the United Kingdom which are considered to be low-income families are increasing by the day and this has led to the families calling for the government to introduce policies that are viewed as being income incentives to the families. There are various causes of families being categorized as low income and one of the reasons is the fact that the families are suffering. One of the causes has been cited that many families are single-parent families and this has subjected single parents to live in poverty while struggling to raise the children. The most affected are the single parents with the mother as the only parents. This has led to the mothers struggling to raise children while the biological fathers have not been contributing to the families’ upkeep (Kiernan, 49).

Another cause can be attributed to the fact that the government has not been introducing policies that are deemed to be supportive of single parents. This can be attributed to the government facing economical hardship and have to concentrate on other avenues and this has led to the fact that families are living in poverty. It is also important to note that there exists discrimination in the employment pattern which is against single mothers, and this has led to single parents having more financial problems amid the rising cost of living (Ermisch, 239).

Another cause can be attributed to the rising inequality levels which can be attributed to the government not distributing the country’s resources. The government has concentrated on families that have both biological parents and marginalized single-parent families. There exist a scenario in which the system does not recognize single-parent families and this can be viewed to have escalated to such levels that many single families do not have permanent and well-paying jobs. This has been very hard especially for single families which have the mother as the only parent raising the children.

Another cause is the rising cost of living which has affected all the people in the United Kingdom and also around the world. This is very hard for a single parent who is raising children and has to meet the needs of a family alone. The case can be made worse if the mother is the only parent and she does not have a well-paying job (Social Trends 32, 49).

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Marriage and divorce

Marriage in the United Kingdom has been grossly affected by the post-modernism ideology which has undermined the institution of marriage in the country. Many he people view marriage as an arrangement and hence they do not have the commitment that is required in a marriage. It is on this development that many people do not uphold the virtues of the marriage and hence many social problems are associated with families (Haskey, 47).

There is the concept of cohabitation whereby couples live together like a married couple but in the real sense there are not married. This has also played a very important role in undermining the institution of marriage. When people cohabitate, they are engaged in sexual relationships and this leads to the bearing of children. However, these types of relationships are not stable and end being broken after some time. This means that the children will be forced to live in single-parent families. There are increased divorce rates in the United Kingdom and this can be attributed to the fact that many people in the country have not taken the institution of marriage seriously (King, 40).

Effects of the current social trend in the United Kingdom

The current social trends harm society. One of the effects is that the country has witnessed increasing rates of crime and this can be attributed to the fact the family roles of bringing up responsible children have been done away with by many people. This means that the country has increased rates of crime and violence and this can be attributed also to the fact that many families live in poverty and hence the youths in such families will result to criminal activities to earn some form of a living. The law enforcement forces of the country have been overwhelmed by the increasing rate of crime and in turn, they have resulted in using various methods of curbing crime. These methods only help in aggravating the situation and hence crime rates are increasing by the day (Ermisch, 239).

The social trends also have the effect that the country is experiencing decreased community ties which can be seen as a fact that has resulted in many social problems. There is the feeling that everyone has to fend for themselves and this has even escalated to the family levels. By the fact that the families are not working towards providing stable people in the future is a clear indication of how loose the community ties are in the United Kingdom (Social Trends 32, 49).

The family structure of the United Kingdom has been affected that there is a growing culture of divorce. This has been very destructive because the emergence of single-parent families lays a basis by which the children are not growing up to be the model citizens in society. This has been attributed to many factors and one of the most important reasons is the lack of a father figure in many families in the United Kingdom (Haskey, 47).

The state of fatherless-ness has also increased and this can be attributed to the increasing divorce cases and the growing divorce culture in the country. This means that the country has many families that do not have a father figure and this is not because of natural causes like death but due to social trends where the institution of marriage has been greatly undermined (Kiernan, 49).

There is also the increased dependence on state welfare in the United Kingdom and this can be attributed to the fact that many households and families cannot rely on themselves to sustain themselves. This has put on pressure on the government and a special kitty has to be set aside to cater to the problem (Social Trends 32, 49).

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Works Cited

Ermisch, J. and Francesconi, M. (2000), ‘The increasing complexity of family relationships: Lifetime experience of lone motherhood and stepfamilies in Great Britain’, European Journal of Population 16, pp. 235–249.

Haskey, J. (1994), ‘Stepfamilies and stepchildren in Great Britain’, Population Trends 76, Office for National Statistics, London: The Stationery Office.

Kiernan, K. (1999), ‘Cohabitation in Western Europe’, Population Trends 96, Office for National Statistics, London: The Stationery Office.

King D., Hayden J. and Jackson R. (2000), ‘Population of households in England to 2001’, Population Trends 99, pp.13–19; and Social Trends 32 (2002), Office for National Statistics, p. 40.

Social Trends 32 (2002), Office for National Statistics, p. 49.

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