A family unit is a primary social group that is often composed of parents and children (Mitchell, 2017). Traditionally a family unit in Canada was merely made up of a father, and mother who had at least three kids. However, in the present day, the definition of a family unit is merely a group of relatives sharing the same house. This is because currently, the composition family units have transformed to complex and diverse family ties web. Some of the modern day family ties are composed of re-married couples, stepchildren, individuals leaving alone, single parents, multiple generations sharing a home, and empty-nesters.
In examining the characteristics of Canada's family unit structure about 50 years ago and the present day structure, one may quickly note a difference that has gradually widened as decades passed. For instance, in the past, most family units were larger since they were composed of at least five individuals while presently they are comprised of at least three individuals. Decades ago most family units were made up of married couples as compared to singles while today the opposite is happening since most of these units are made up of single parents. The number of people living alone has presently surpassed that of couples with children which was higher in the past.
In the past, most of the couples got their first children by the time they were 24 years old despite the increase in population the present time most couples get their first children at their early thirty's. This indicated that as time passed aging of the baby-boomer bulge took place. As decades passed the number of stepfamilies grew, by 2011 statistics showed one child in a group of ten children lived in a family unit that had either a stepmother or father (Mitchell, 2017). More foster homes were built through time thus indicating that more family units are composed of adopted children or groups of adults from the same foster home in the present day as compared to the past. The number of families unites that are consisting of same-sex couples have also increased through time.
Various factors have primarily influenced the definition, mobility, and sustainability of family unit in Canada and the rest of the world, for example, migration, education, employment, changes in parental approaches, technological advancement, and cultural diversity. Canada has experienced both internal and international migration through the years. Internal migration has been caused mainly by the desire of people to move from rural to urban areas while international migration has been primarily instigated by the desire of foreign nationalists to settle in Canada. Statistics show that by the year 2011 one in every five people living in Canada were foreign-born, this figure represented 20.6% of Canada's population (Strohschein, 2017). Migration led to the splitting up of families thus redefining family units since in the past families were forced to migrate in unison. The splitting of the families has caused parents and their kids to live in smaller family units in different parts of the country.
Education is highly valued in Canada like most of the other parts of the world. The increase in the desire of individuals to acquire knowledge has led most of the Canadian's to ignore fundamental human interrelations and family building activities such as marriage and procreation. Their ignorance of such essential family activities has naturally led to the redefinition of family units. This has led most of the Canadian citizens to prefer living alone, and in the case, they decide to marry they often marry spouses who share their desires. The fact that the various educational programs offered by the different campuses in Canada take time has led the nation's youths to get into marriages while they are quite old. This has thus caused them to have small families since most of them do not get kids while they are young. Canada is one of the countries in the world that has over the years significantly promoted education. According to Banks (2015), research conducted the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2013 indicated that 53% of the nation's citizens had obtained a tertiary education while 24% of their population between the ages of 25 to 64 had a college education certificate.
Employment is one of the leading sources of lively hood among citizens of Canada. It has thus greatly influenced the way family units are currently structured in the country. Factors such as the shift of employees and search for work has led people to view families differently thus creating a new perception of family units. According to Mitchell (2017), the scarcity of employment has, for example, led most couples to avoid having children through utilizing family planning methods that prevent them from having kids. This is because most couples believe that for them to adequately provide for their families, they have to have a well-paying and stable job. The time demanding nature of some of the career for example medicine has led most of the citizens working in such industries to shift their concentration from family building to their career thus making their careers their lifestyle. The individual concentration of couples to their different jobs has also led to the restructuring of family units. This is because due to various work-related issues families are at times forced to split up thus leading to the formation of family units that have a single parent.
Cultural diversity brought about by the interaction of people of Canada with citizens from other nations has also greatly influenced the current definition, mobility, and sustainability of family unity in Canada. This is because from the interaction Canadians have gotten the opportunity to learn from other through observing and actively engaging with them. This has thus promoted their exchange of ideas and progressive incorporation of some of the foreigners' views to their own. The acceptance of same-sex marriage which was progressively introduced in Canada from the year 2003 is an example of a new form of family unity that was adopted by Canadians because of cultural diversity. The spreading of other religious practices across Canada has also promoted cultural diversity thus leading to the transformation of family unity. Primarily Canada was a Christian nation however presently other religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, and Buddhism have become wildly practiced among Canadians (Banks, 2015). Religion being one of the core determinants of a population's way of life the growth of the different religions has significantly transformed the family view primarily held by Canadians.
The advancement in technology through time has contributed to the numerous changes in relation to the various aspects of family unity. The ease of sending and receiving of information from all over the world has enabled individuals to learn a lot from each other. Young parents nowadays highly rely on information they learn from the numerous social media sites available in parenting their kids (Mitchell, 2017). This trend among parents has significantly influenced the modern view of a family unit since it has introduced various new parenting tactics among parents. The advancement of technology has led to the introduction of baby monitoring tools such the baby-monitor which is nowadays widely used by parents with infants in parenting and monitoring them. Technological gadgets such as mobile phones and computers have made it easy for parents to communicate with their children and nannies. This has thus allowed them to spend more time away from their children for mostly work reasons thus changing the mode of parenting traditionally used.
In conclusion, the definition, mobility, and sustainability of family unit in Canada and the world at large have significantly changed with time. The leading cause of the change is credited to the changes in lifestyle that has occurred through time. The changes have forced people to find new ways to adapt to the new lifestyle thus leading them to change their views and perceptions in relation to factors such as family which define their way of life. It is paramount for individuals to ensure they maintain positive family qualities and avoid incorporating negative family values despite the pressures they may experience due to the constant changes in the life style they may experience through time.
Banks, J. A. (2015). Cultural diversity and education. Routledge.Mitchell, B. A. (2017). Family matters: An introduction to family sociology in Canada.
Canadian Scholars' Press.Strohschein, L. (2017). Canadian Studies in Population 44. Canadian Studies in Population, 44(1-2), 16-27.
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