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The Way We Wish We Were

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Length: 307 words (0.9 double-spaced pages)
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Coontz Précis

The Way We Wish We Were, written by author Stephanie Coontz, converses about the ways the "traditional" American family has changed over time. Family's can be divided into two general categories: the extended family style, and the nuclear family style. Due to the changing of family styles, the "American traditional family" no longer survives.

Coontz divides how extended families follow traditions in which they teach their children the way they were raised, "The way it's always been" claims Coontz. However Nuclear families belittle the "old fashion" ways of the extended family. In both although, each family style stems from older styles of family; it is said, older methods of family makes the traditional family.

Over the centuries, these methods have changed. These methods are changed because of events in history. Such events like the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, WWII, and mass numbers of Immigrants are said to be the cause for the loss of the "traditional family. Coontz states, "The Industrial Revolution destroyed the traditional family." The Industrial Era provided work for younger ages. With the age of the work force lowered, children had less time to play; the roles for women were redefined, causing more individuality with in a family. This was not the style of the traditional family, when the wife cooks the meals, takes care of kids; the husband goes to work, and supports the family, traditionally.

Coontz explains that many family's these days are more likely to move away from there birthplace, than when the older traditional families would usually reside where they were born. Historian Thomas Bender claims, "People move around too much, in which causes a weaker family tie." The movement of family members isn't the traditional family style. With different movement, families are different in different areas of America. The rise in acceptance of Gays and Lesbians is also another factor. More people accept this in their life; therefore go against traditional family methods.

Overall, Coontz demonstrates how the traditional family values are disappearing due to the changes over time in our society. America`s society is changing everyday. With the change in our society, no matter how many extreme generalizations we draw that are the causes to the loss of our "traditional family" style; Traditional family style is evolving due to the change in our society.

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