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Word Count: 991
The purpose of this paper is to identify how the concept of family has changed over time Certainly the notion of family has become more liberated through the political social economic and cultural factors pertaining to the diversity of the modern day family These factors are expressed through the exploration of feminism and the vast fundamental changes this movement generated for the role in which women play in society The ideology that women belong in families to nurture children and look after the home has been traditionally perpetuated in Australian society Hughes 1994 p 162 Previously marriage was the only acceptable role for women and the alternative spinsterhood prostitution or work for low wages was viewed as socially unacceptable Aspin 1994 p 42 The dramatic increase in paid workforce participation of women has seen a major shift in the role that women play within society Consequently females entering the paid workforce can be seen to be the biggest factor that can be attributed to the change in family structure size members roles and functions performed within the present day family unit Edgar Earle Fopp 1993 p 303 Feminism a political and social movement to empower women to take control over their lives and situations achieve economic independence experience freedom and access higher education is supported by Sarantakos 1996 p 17 by adding The set of beliefs in the entitlement of women to emancipation and the political and social movement which seeks to ensure the achievement of that aim This movement officially began in Australia in 1969 and generated long term social changes such as equal pay equal education safe contraception and the establishment of childcare centers and safe houses for abused women Gunstone Matthews Roy Watson 1996 p 80 This illustrates that women have redefined their identity as women daughters wivespartners and mothers Bessant Watts 1999 p 137 The cumulative effect of this change on the family has been profound
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