Data on family change point to a greater flexibility in the entry and exit from relationships, a delay in the timing of family events, and a diversity of family forms. These changes have undermined the complementary-roles model as women gained equal opportunities in a variety of domains. Children have been affected such that their interests are no longer paramount in the structuring of adult lives. On the whole, the family has been de-institutionalized with less function and less power.
An interpretation of the changes suggests that the family has shifted from a unit of survival in which relations were based on division of labour to a unit of solidarity based on a sense of common identity and expressive relationships. Policies that would further push families in the direction of a collaborative model would promote new kinds of cohesion within families and at the societal level.
Beaujot, Roderic and Ravanera, Zenaida
"An Interpretation of Family Change, with Implications for Social Cohesion,"
PSC Discussion Papers Series:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/pscpapers/vol15/iss1/1