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Different family arrangements in Saudi and UK

A group of people who share blood, or related by kin, or co-residence, or who share common ancestors is called as family. Family produces society either socially or biologically. The structure and functions of a family varies according to the culture and tradition of that particular geographical area. The Western and Eastern perspectives and attitude towards the family and wedding systems are remarkably different. The difference is easily visible when we take consideration of Saudi and UK family system, their lives, and their living arrangements. A typical family consists of a father, a mother, and kid.

A father is male, head of the family, and has responsibility of earning money and looking after the family. A mother is female, head of the house; she looks after the needs of house like cooking, looking after kids, and shopping. A kid is called as daughter if it is female, else if it is a male, called as son. Families in Saudi According to David, extended families are seen often in Saudi than simple families. An extended family usually consists of different family members like father, mother, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, and cousins (2003).

Here, the families a very conservative. Females are not allowed at least to see an outside man. They wear burkas (a black long frok with an attached mask like cloth on the face) while they come out of home. Woman can only marry a man but a man can marry more than a woman (Women and Islam, 2001). Though a man can marry more than one woman, this polygamy has some rules and limitations, and the foremost thing for him is to look after all his wives equally Marriage is a bond that combines two families to one.

Here the marriage is arranged with the parents wish, in most of the cases the bride and groom are not even asked for their opinions. According to U. S. Library of Congress, the family is the primary basis of one’s identity and individual society in Saudi. Families in UK A structure of a family is entirely different to the previous one. An individual can select his/her partner and even can live together before to marriage too. There is not much a great bond in UK family system.

They do give value to human sentiments and emotions, but does not have proper respective towards the culture and ancient traditions. In the last few years, the UK has seen fewer people marrying (marriage rates per year have declined from 70 to 26 weddings per 1,000 adults in 2003); more people divorcing (the number increased from 63,000 in 1970 to 167,000 in 2004) and more people cohabiting (Office of National Statistics). In some areas of the country, children born to married parents are now in the minority.

According to the latest Focus on Families study, cohabiting families with and without children are the fastest-growing UK family type, with an increase in the decade up to 2006 from 1. 4 million to 2. 3 million, a 65% growth, while the number of married families fell to 12. 1 million, a decline of 4%. The number of children being brought up by unmarried couples stands at 1. 25 million in 2001. By 2031, the government estimates that there will be 3. 8 million cohabiting couples by 2031.

The number of UK children born outside marriage increased from 8% of all births in 1970 to 41% in 2003. Despite the rise, married couples with or without children are still biggest family group – accounting for 71% of the UK’s 17. 1 million families. The effect of family breakdown on individuals and society is multi-fold. It leads to increased risks of poverty, crime, health problems and family breakdown amongst both children and grandchildren (Amato, 2000). Amato, P. R. (2000) The Consequences of Divorce for Adults and Children. Journal of Marriage

and the Family. Anonymous. (2001) Women and Islam. Women and Islam. Retrieved from http://www. business-with-turkey. com/tourist-guide/islam-women. shtml Anonymous. (2008) Cultural Homogeneity and Values. Population of Saudi Arabia. Retrieved from http://countrystudies. us/saudi-arabia/21. htm David E. Long. (2003) The Role of the Extended Family in Saudi Arabia. Saudi-American Forum. Retrieved from http://www. saudi-american-forum. org/Newsletters/SAF_Essay_09. htm Lian Duncan Smith. (2006) The State of the Nation Report. Fractured Families.

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