Partie 5 : Problèmes de société

Chapitre 41 : Family relationships

New families, page 88

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a stepfamily, a blended family
an extended family
a single-parent family
a foster family
foster parents
a biological parent
an adopted child
an adoptive parent
a test-tube baby
IVF (in vitro fertilization)
a surrogate mother
to enter into a civil union, to enter into a partnership
the decline in marriage
unmarried couples
to cohabit
to split up
to pay somebody alimony

In most countries children born outside marriage are provided with legal rights.

The number of blended families has gone up some 30% in the last ten years. Same-sex couple families now number over 300,000 households in the UK.

Old and still going, page 88

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a relative
to raise children
a household
a family gathering
to hold a hen party/to hold a stag party
to be engaged
to propose

The increased role of love in marriages has altered the institution of the family.

A beautiful wedding does not necessarily mean a beautiful marriage.

Food for thought, page 89

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  1. Fifties: They lived happily ever after their wedding. Divorce was unthinkable.
    c. Marriage has to last for life. Family life is stable and conformist. Divorce carries a stigma.
  2. Sixties: Decadence, dissent and freedom.
    d. It’s a time of “free love”. The family as the moral mirror of society is pretty much shattered. So is the traditional trilogy for women “housework, motherhood, husband”.
  3. Seventies: The “me” decade.
    b. The single-parent family is born. The divorce rate shoots up from 45,794 in England and Wales in 1968 to 143,667 in 1978 – divorce is overwhelmingly initiated by women, who are no longer ready to sacrifice themselves for their family.
  4. Eighties: Children first (or not); marriage second.
    f. Couples no longer feel the pressure to get married when they have children. Legislation puts the child first in family life, rather than assuming that marriage is the only form of protection.
  5. Nineties: The family inside out, i.e. the family is redefined.
    e. New families emerge, like single-parent families, stepfamilies and gay parents. The new trends fail to bring back the housewife and the breadwinner father.
  6. Noughties (2000s): No more confetti, because weddings are no longer what they used to be. Surrogacy is something people talk about more and more.
    a. Families come in all shapes and sizes and include circles of friends. Marriage rates continue to plunge. “Wombs to rent” cause ethical dilemmas with greater frequency.