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Family

ISSUES: Love and marriage Marriage and divorce Impacts of divorce Changes in family structure Mothers to work or not to work Impacts of dual income but no kids Single parent families Gay families Single child families Parenting

Local examples: 1. Who: Singaporean couples What: Singapores total fertility rate reached 1.20 in 2010 (1.15 in 2010) with the Chinese having the lowest rate at 1.08 in 2011. When: 2011 Where: Singapore Why: Many reasons such as the need for both parents to work due to the high cost of living and because of a change in mind-set that children are a burden How: Other topics: Increasing Costs of living, Problems affecting Singapore

2. Who: HDB dwelling Singaporeans What: Average household size among resident households remained unchanged at 3.5 persons When: For the past five years. (It was 3.7 in 2006) Where: Singapore Why: How: Other topics: Singapores Slowing Population growth, Raising a family in Singapore 3. Who: Single Singaporeans What: Those who are getting married are doing so at a later age, with the median age increasing from 28.7 to 30.1 for men and 26.0 to 27.8 for women between 2001 and 2011. When: 2001 - 2011 Where: Singapore

Why: This explains Singapores falling birth rate How:Other topics: Living Alone, Growing independence of Singaporeans 4. Who: Graduated Singaporean women What: Decrease in percentage of graduated women who were single from 29.1% to 24.8% When: Comparing between 2000 and 2010 Where: Singapore Why: Could be due to the influx of highly educated women migrants who have become permanent residents or citizens. How:Other topics: Improvements in Education in Singapore, Womens growing independence 5. Who: Young Singaporeans What: 4 out of 5 respondents in Singapore were currently cohabiting or have done so before. When: Where: Singapore Why: Many saw it as a trial to determine compatibility for matrimony. How:Other topics: The Singaporean Mindset, Lifestyles in Singapore

Global examples: 1. Who: Americans What: In 1950s, 4 million Americans lived alone (9% of households). But in 2011, this has increased to 33 million (28% of households) (2011 census data) When:- between 1950 and 2011 Where: - They're concentrated in big cities throughout the country, from Seattle to Miami, Minneapolis to New Orleans. Living alone, being alone and feeling lonely are hardly the same, evidence suggests that people who live alone compensate by becoming more socially active than those who live with others and that cities with high numbers of singletons enjoy a thriving public culture. Other topics: The Human mind, How we decide on choices we make

2. Who: Americans What: 40% of Americans believe that marriage is becoming obsolete, up from just 28% in 1978.

When: 2010 Where: Time/ Pew research nationwide polls Why: As an institution that regulates peoples lives, marriage is no longer the social and economic necessity it once was. How:Other topics: Changing Global trends in Lifestyle, The old ways are dying 3. Who: American married couples What: Almost 99% of married couples maintain a household of their own and approximately 60% of married women have jobs outside the home When: Where: United States Why: Extended families and large kinship groups once common have given way to smaller nuclear families. How: Other topics: Improving income rates, Increasing education rates 4. Who: Americans What: The percentage of married Americans has dropped each decade since the 1950s, and the number of unmarried-but-cohabiting partners has risen 1000 percent over the last 40 years. When: 1950 onwards Where: United States Why: How: Other topics: New lifestyles, A declining workforce 5. Who: Japanese parents What: A child allowance bill was passed, giving cash allowances of more than $3000 per child per family. When: March 2010 Where: Japan Why: To help defray child rearing costs. NOTE: However in one year the allowance was reduced to pump funds into the rebuilding of the regions destroyed by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Other topics: Governance in Japan, Costs of living in Japan Possible Questions on this topic: 1. A womans place today is beside the husband, not behind him. Discuss. (2004 JCT) 2. What would constitute the ideal Singapore family? (2005 JCT)

3. How far do you agree that family planning should be a responsibility of the state rather than the individual? (2004 JCT) 4. Singlehood is becoming increasingly attractive today. How far is this true in your society? 5. How much has the role of the father changed today? (2006 JCT) 6. Do you agree that marriage has no place in our society today? (2006 Promo)

Paragraph from Words, Words, Words: However, with the advent of globalisation, the idea that singlehood is increasingly popular seems to be challenged, especially amongst well-travelled Singaporeans. As Singaporeans travel to more places, they get to know more people from abroad, and this leads to a possible increase to the tendency of finding the right partner. In a recent report by The Straits Times, it was found that despite Singapores birthrate reaching a historical low of 1.16 births, there is an increase in the number of registered inter-racial marriages. And a picture accompanying the reported depicted a local Singaporean woman happily married to a European. The report by Norman Li also found that American women are more interested in happiness than money, and this fact will perhaps increase the odds of Singaporean men choosing to have a partner from another country, thus rendering the widely held belief that singlehood is increasingly attractive void in that particular case. Leaving aside fears aboout becoming economic and social burdens, the elderly should not be very fearful that they may not have friends and become lonely as they age. Even though Singapore is a fast moving cosmopolitan city where people seem to not have enough time to interact with the elderly, the fact is that we are a very caring and compassionate society. According to the national Volunteerism and Philanthropy Centre, the rate of charity participation has increased from 9.4% in 2000 to 19.8% in 2010 while the amount of money donated increased from $350 million to $680 million over the same period. A bulk of this donation goes to provide free meals and healthcare support for disadvantaged senior citizens.