The Cranes, An Absorbent Safety Net Essay

The Cranes, An Absorbent Safety Net Essay

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Family has played an intricate role in the development of the society in which we live. The diversity in which families are formed is now becoming even more diverse with the American culture, which is changing at a rapid pace. Diverse cultures coupled with social economic challenges are key contributors to the dramatic change to the institution of family. With these challenges facing the institution of family, this closely tightknit unit which has been the cornerstone of American society has diminishing from a traditional standpoint. Non-kinship family networks like the one described in Karen V. Hansen’s “The Cranes, An Absorbent Safety Net,” goes against the norm of the common institution of family within America. Although the Crane family does not follow the blueprint of social constructionism, their non-kinship network solves the problems and challenges presented in a eroding society showing they embodied the true essence of what family is all about
In Karen V. Hansen’s “The Cranes, An Absorbent Safety Net,” she details a case study conducted with Patricia Crane as she divulges about the non-kinship extended family network she is the leader of. Hanson’s case study uses a “deficit comparison model “to explain nontraditional family structures based on “relationships that are neither genetically nor legally bound.” All of the members within Patricia extended family are dependent on each other in one way or another to endure the “challenges of their daily lives.” Daunting tasks as providing daily meals, and responsibilities of caring for the children and elderly dependents of this extended family is a shared responsibility. The cranes network from a traditional standpoint, goes against the grain of a common “nuclear family” cons...


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... Although the institution of family has gone through vast changes since the 1960s, it still has been able to retain its core fundamental values. With integration of different cultures and the economic downturn of America, families are assembled in various types such as non-kinship groups, same-sex marriages, and single-parent situations. The adults in these family situations do whatever it takes from a moral standpoint to fulfill the obligation of care to the dependents in their family. The family institution is only in decline from the social construct and the fictitious ideology of what a traditional family should look like. Our ever-changing society has truly impacted the way families are developed today, but with these changes these families all share the fundamental core values and obligations which truly keep them united for the common well-being of each other.

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