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Family through the years – 1970’s

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The 1970’s lifestyle

By the time it was the 1970’s, many things had changed politically. This continued on from the 1960’s. The lifestyle started to become better for women and, the word lifestyle was beginning to form choices.

Marriage rates had increased however, divorce rates also dramatically increased from the 1960’s:

1970 Marriage rate: 415, 487

1970 Divorce rate: 58, 239

Source: www.theguardian.com/news


  • Lifestyle: The decade began with an equal pay act and, the assumption that women should receive some pay and benefits as men, if the work was similar. Also, the sex discrimination act emerged. This was to prohibit unequal treatment, employment, education, training on grounds of sex or mental status. Unemployment was low therefore, the economy was good. People’s lifestyle was starting to have choice. Affordable foreign holidays were very popular in the 1970’s. For both men and women, life was not revolved around married life and children. There was also more convenience, as the washing machine and domestic microwave cooker was introduced. Life started to get easier and there was less pressure amongst society. Moreover, in the 1970’s there were about 375,000 Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs in Britain. This was also a sign of lifestyle changing as Britain started to become more mixed.



  • Entertainment: Again, going on foreign holidays became a source of entertainment for many people. Eating and dining out was also popular, even for young adolescents. Although the entertainment had become better, there were still only three channels on TV. However, manufacturers started to create VHS video recorders, Sony Walkman personal stereos and even TV in colour. Clothes shopping was also a huge trend. Not only did teenagers care about their fashion but, also parents. Music was also a huge trend continuing on from the 1960’s. Although the 1970’s was moving with the current times, the introduction of PC’s, laptops, tablets or smartphones was still non-existent. Therefore, there was still good face-to-face communication and less obesity by sitting at home.



  • Children: In the 1970’s, some major advances in computer technology started to influence children’s toys during the decade as evident in the computerised game of Simon and the development of the Atari computer and gaming system. Popular culture also continued to greatly influence the types that were available, with many youngsters being able to recreate their favourite movies or television shows with matching action figures and dolls. The ‘Barbie’ doll became very popular with young girls. Instead of playing outside, children now had the choice to play inside and play with their favourite toys. Children were also beginning to have choice and, although education was still at its peak, popular culture was starting to become important.


In conclusion, lifestyle had changed dramatically since the 1920’s. People wanted to explore more and had created their own choices which made their own lifestyle. Women had more rights and, life was not just about cooking, cleaning and looking after the family. With more rights put in place politically, this may be the reason why divorce rates were so high. Being treated equally was heard of thus, women leaving men was more accepted by society. This may be the decade whereby family breakdown became more frequent.


Source: Channel 4 News, Resources.Woodlands, The People History

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