Changes in Family Life and Values ​​Caused by the Advent of Industrialization

The advent of industrialization to societies in the 19th century brought about significant changes to family life and values. The industrial revolution changed the location of labor for the members of a family. Before the industrial revolution, work was done at the home in the forms of agricultural labor, cloth production, and many other categories of occupation. As industry began to transform societies, it caused the site of work to move from households to cities and factories. This fundamental change in the location of production caused a line of separation to appear between work life and family life, which had previously been the same.

Initially, families were kept together to work in factories and they all contributed to the economic needs of their family in order to make it thrive. This attempt to keep families together did not last long though. Soon, it became rare for family members to continue to work in groups, leading to further severance of the nuclear family bonds.

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Overall, industrialization led to the individualization of family members, causing them to live their lives detached from each other. This correlation between industrialization and family division indicates that families in pre-industrial society would have been more strongly bonded.

Family members working at home in conjunction with one another allowed them to have strong relationships. These family connections were disrupted by the industrial revolution and therefore were detrimental to the strength of the family structure.

In regards to the changes of individual family members, the roles of women and children were especially altered.

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The shift of production to factories rather than households caused married women to either stay home or work while their kids were cared for by someone else. Over time, it became the norm for middle-class women to stay at home, care for children, and manage domestic affairs. Making sure that the home was taken care of became the main responsibility of most middle-class women. A common job for less wealthy women was to become domestic servants. In some cases, women had to travel very far to get to the middle-class households in which they worked.

Approximately 1/3 of all European women were domestic servants during their lifetime, so the popularity of this occupation among women is easily noticeable. Women could send the money they earned back to their homes in the country while they stayed in the cities, but they could also save it to begin other individual careers, such as secretaries. Children were also significantly impacted by industrialization. Just like their parents, children continued to work in the cities as they had in the countryside, but they performed different jobs.

These children were often subject to abuse and exploitative treatment in factories, but they continued to work since their family needed the small salary the children received. Over time, laws were passed by Parliament in England to regulate child labor and eventually take children out of the workforce. Instead, children in the late 19th century acquired a new job as students who were educated by mandatory education laws.

All in all, industrialization transformed families by bringing production out of their households and into factories in cities. This led to major changes in the responsibilities of each family member and a decrease in the strength of family bonds. Women and children played new roles in society too. These drastic changes were infused into society by the industrial revolution and are still present in current times.

Updated: Apr 05, 2023
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Changes in Family Life and Values ​​Caused by the Advent of Industrialization. (2023, Apr 05). Retrieved from

Changes in Family Life and Values ​​Caused by the Advent of Industrialization essay
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