Part II Anthropologists have pointed out that many languages lack a word for the parent-child domestic units known as families in English. Historical studies of Western family life have shown that nuclear family households were extremely common as far back as historical evidence can reach, particularly in north-western Europe—England, Holland, Belgium, and northern France (Gottlieb 1993). These countries have long held the norm that a newly married couple moves out of their parents' homes and sets up their own household. Despite the continuity of form, however, different social classes, ethnic groups, religious persuasions, and geographical regions have had different practices and beliefs with regard to parent-child relations, sexuality, family gender roles, and other aspects of family life.
Family life also has changed in response to social, economic, and political change. Many scholars believe that in the eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century, the modernizing countries of Western Europe witnessed a transformation of family feeling that resulted in "the closed domesticated nuclear family." The new family ideal, Lawrence Stone (1977) argued, prescribed domestic privacy and strong emotional attachments between spouses and between parents and children. On the other hand, some scholars have argued that strong emotional bonds between family members have existed for centuries, and others have argued that the "closed domesticated nuclear family" was a middle-class ideal that came to be applied slowly and incompletely outside that class. In Eastern Europe, however, the nuclear norm did not prevail. Households were expected to contain other relatives besides the nuclear unit (i.e., a third generation or a parent's sibling and possibly that person's spouse and children). It is true that in those parts of Europe about half of the households at any particular time were nuclear, but this unit served as just a stage the family might pass through.
As these examples show, it is important to distinguish between the nuclear family as a cultural symbol and as an observable domestic group (Schneider 1968). The nuclear family is a symbol deeply rooted in Western culture; it is represented in art, family photographs, advertising, and television. However, the family ideal of any particular culture does not necessarily describe the social realities of family life. For example, the nuclear family remains the preferred cultural pattern in the United States despite the fact that the proportion of nuclear family households is smaller than in the past (Skolnick 1991). The persistence of this ideal is reflected in the fact that most divorced people remarry. Further, there is no evidence that most single mothers prefer to raise their children by themselves. In most Western nations, particularly the United States, the wish to become a parent at some time in one's life is virtually universal. Today's longevity means that the parent-child relationship can last fifty years or more. It remains a central attachment in most people's lives.
In any particular time and place, families have always been more varied than the prevailing image of what the ideal family should be. However, although family types are even more diverse than in the past, most contemporary families are still variations on the traditional nuclear family pattern (e.g., the two-job family, the empty nest couple with grown children, or the blended family). An unsettled period of family transition has resulted from major shifts in economic, demographic, political, and cultural trends in the industrialized world and beyond. These changes have altered people's lives dramatically, but other institutions of society—government, business, religion—have not yet caught up with the new realities.
The traditional Western concept of the nuclear family as the only normal, natural family has had a profound influence on research, therapy, and public policy. It has encouraged the tendency to define any departure from that arrangement as unhealthy or immoral. This concentration on a single, universally accepted pattern has blinded students of behaviour to historical precedents for multiple legitimate family arrangements.
VI. Translate into Ukrainian:
ü to point out;
ü to lack a word for the parent-child domestic units;
ü to be extremely common;
ü to sets up one’s own household;
ü to be changed in response to…;
ü strong emotional bonds;
ü to be applied slowly and incompletely;
ü to distinguish between;
ü an observable domestic group;
ü the preferred cultural pattern;
ü to be virtually universal;
ü to result from;
ü to encourage the tendency
ü historical evidence;
ü to describe the social realities of family life;