Analysis Of The Changing American Family

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Is the American family in really in crisis or is it just evolving at a more advanced rate than society? According to the sociologist, Michael Kimmel, “[t]hough the family feels like one of the most fragile of social institutions, it is also perhaps among the most resilient” (Kimmel 143). It seems fragile because of the decline of marriages rates, the increase in divorce rates, and the increase in cohabitating couples. However, the family is one of the most resilient social institutions, “able to adapt to changing economic, social, and cultural circumstances and remain the foundation of society” (Kimmel 142). Besides, statistics alone do not prove the failing condition of the American family.
According to Kimmel, the notion of what constitutes
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Natalie Angier, author of “The Changing American Family” offers different perspectives of why are Americans delaying marriage. One reason might be that “a growing number of Americans are simply intimidated by the whole idea of marriage” (Angier). On the other hand, Americans have chosen to organize their priorities by first getting their college degrees, finding a job, and being financially stable before thinking of marriage and children. This new generation is choosing to try things out before committing to them. That is why they are opting for cohabitation instead of marriage, Furthermore, most cohabitating couples are discouraged by the economic and emotional standards that a “successful” marriage…show more content…
According to the author of “The Changing American Family”, the divorce rate “began falling in 1996 and is now just above 40 percent for first-time marriages” (Angier). Author of a The Atlantic’s article on marriage, Gillian White, agrees with both Kimmel and Angier. White uses the results of a recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll, where seventy-four percent of the participants “felt that marriage was still relevant and led to a happier, healthier, more fulfilled life” (White). This means that marriage is still a valuable institution even if its traditions have changed in the past few decades. The poll’s results show that more than the sixty percent of the participants agreed that “the ages of 25 to 30 were optimal for tying the knot” (White). One of the reasons to delay marriage is the economic situation of the country and the uncertainty of financial security once married. The rising cost of living makes it difficult for one person to live on their own, picture it with someone else. Nonetheless, Americans are still eager “to have stable, long-lasting relationships and families”
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