According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a family is "a group of two or more people who reside together and who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.” (Eutk). In the beginning, family was considered to be all of the individuals who contributed to the household as far as bringing in money; including servants and non-parental adults, who are also considered part of the family if they play a large role in the upbringing or care-taking of children other than their own. But in fact, over the last few centuries until present day, the institution of the family has completely changed. In the late-18th Century, marriage was considered just a union based on love, but as time passed, there were other financial, social, and political shifts in the United States and in other countries. Throughout our course readings in Gender Studies, we see the ideas of continuity and change in regards to the American family unit. There were multiple factors that influenced the institution of the family unit, including the argument that marriage was seen as a contract of survival, the privatization of marriage, as well as the idea that traditional families never existed. “A Little Commonwealth” by John Demos is an article that discusses the old colonial family household compared to the modern day family unit. In colonial times, the Puritan colonial family life was very similar and different from typical family structures. To begin with, the household consisted of individuals who lived with their immediate family, due to the area in which the families lived in, as well as the modest architecture that allowed simply no room to house more family members. John Demos makes the argument that back then, marriage was seen as a contract of survival, versus there... ... middle of paper ... ...matter in my own life. Being an overweight, African American woman, it is hard to be in particular situations as a minority. Ranging from my college experience as a predominately Caucasian institution, or simply in the workplace under the same demographics, it is hard to feel as though you are not good enough. It is hard to find a sense of confidence when you are surrounded by individuals who do not believe in you. Therefore, I can definitely relate to Dorothy Allison’s statements regarding what it feels like to grow up as an outcast, overcome, and conquer your dreams. Overall, in regards to healing, Dorothy shows that no matter how bad the situation was, she had to move onward and upward. She had to reclaim her life and sex. She needed to get in tune with herself before she could love or give herself to someone else. Bottom line is, you have to accept who you are!
The American family is constantly undergoing changes. In the early 1600s, the Godly Family was the prevalent family structure of the first Europeans who immigrated to the United States (Aulette, 2010). Until 1780, families were strictly patriarchal with a male head of the family, who supervised “all social activities, including education, health care, and welfare”, and insured the family’s self-sufficiency within its community (Aulette, 2010). Following this form, the Modern Family and its sub-categories, the Democratic Family and the Companionate Family, were the dominant family structures until the 1970s (Aulette, 2010). Throughout the course of almost 200 years, families evolved into more private institutions aside from the community, women withdrew more and more from physical work on the family’s property and concentrated on their designated occupation as a mother, caregiver and housewife. Men were still the head of the family in terms of pursuing an occupation to financially provide for the family’s needs. During this time, gender-specific roles within the family were reinforced, which are still partially in effect in today’s society and family structure. Since the mid-20th century, the American family seems to be changing more rapidly than ever, partially because of the influences of the Great Depression and World War II, which led to the remarkable baby boom of 1946 to 1964. Not only did the year of 1970 mark the beginning of the most recent stage in the history of the (European) American family, the Postmodern Family, it also was the year in which the first gay couple applied for a marriage license (ProCon.org, 2013). Even though the two men’s request had been denied back then, same-sex couples and their family structure h...
Woman and family roles are considerably different today than they were back in Puritan times. Puritans thought that the public’s foundation rested on the “little commonwealth”, and not merely on the individual. The “little commonwealth” meant that a father’s rule over his family mirrored God’s rule over creation or a king over his subjects. John Winthrop believed that a “true wife” thought of herself “in [weakness] to her husband’s authority.” As ludicrous as this idea may appeal to women and others in today’s society, this idea was truly necessary for colonies to be able to thrive and maintain social order.
In conclusion this paper has shown my perceptions on the described topics. I have identified why the family is considered the most important agent in socialization. I explained the dramatic changes to the American family and what caused them. I explained the differences in marriage and family. I expressed my feelings on the trend of diverse families, and how a change in trends to traditional views would change women’s rights.
Family used to be a single unit, consisting of a husband, wife and children. This unit was widely thought as a group based on marriage and biological parenthood as sharing a common residence and united by ties of affection, obligations, care, support, and a sense of common identity. However, due to the change in values, laws, family structure and social trends, the definition of family has been defined as a married or cohabiting couple with or without children living under one roof, children may be dependent or independent. (Office for national statistics) (2006)
What exactly is a family? Some would say it is a father, mother, and possibly children, but is this an outdated definition? With the world adapting and changing at such a high rate, it proves difficult to create definite boundaries for what constitutes a family. As events that are either detrimental or beneficial to society occur, family lives adapt to better suit the current state. The differences in culture, religion and traditions can offer possible explanations for why families are not the same, locally and globally. Sociological relationships change to fit the people involved in them, so it only makes sense that family groups would differ by location. This paper will discuss the ways that families in America have evolved over time. Also, I will explain what occurrences caused the need for such changes.
During the 1950’s the misconception that the nuclear family, which presumes that a self-supporting unit composed of two heterosexual parents legally married and engaging in separate masculine and feminine family roles was predominant and ideal (Palczewski & DeFrancisco, 2014). Understandably, looking at what a family looks like and means now from this perspective could lead one to believe that the American family is deteriorating, however, this is a result of the golden age view about the nuclear family and was never a reality (Afifi, lecture). The American family is not deteriorating, the common understanding of what a family looks like is changing due to the increase of diversity, dependency on discourse based communication, and an emphasis
Gerson’s The Unfinished Revolution focuses primarily on three categorical families: egalitarian, neo-traditional, and self-reliant and one of her points states that family ideals are hardly permanent. Gerson notes how the gender revolution changes family dynamics, especially in how marriage focuses not on the form of the relationship but the quality. She argues that the gender revolution actually improves family dynamics, especially the egalitarian families where equality is most promoted. It is possible to infer that Gerson in fact endorses a marriage where both spouses equally commit to the household and family, and is thus the ideal marriage.
Family has played a big role in stabilising society after the Second World War. In the 1950s, it marked the beginning of the ‘Family of the Golden Age’ where the nuclear family are viewed as the main ideal household (Hughes and Fergusson, 2004, p.47). It is defined as a social unit consisting of wife, husband and dependent children (ibid). Sociologist often views such family as ‘The cereal packet family’ which refers to the image most people hold of the family during the golden age (Nelson, 2013). However, in the beginning of the 1960s onwards, the UK society is becoming more liberal with greater emphasis on equality and personal freedom (Morgan, 2013). This is where the diversity of family types and relationships within families starts to take place. Nowadays, people start to express their concern over what’s happening to the ‘traditional family’ in the contemporary UK society (Hughes and Fergusson, 2004, p.46). Furthermore, there is a widespread fear that changes in family lives are leading to greater uncertainties and private troubles in people’s lives. (Mooney et al, 2004 cited in Hughes and Fergusson, 2004, p.46). However, for feminists, the increasing diversity of the family is viewed as a good thing since it enables more equality and liberated relations between men, women and children (ibid, p.64). On the other hand, to conservative’s thinkers the increasing diversity is changing and undermining the secure and hierarchical order which the family makes for the wider society (ibid, p.61). Therefore, this essay will demonstrate family as an example of continuity change with an explanation on the changes of household types. In addition, social scientists’ views on diversity in the family will be discussed with the focus on the ...
In the last few decades, American families have changed significantly. New combinations of family households are more common than ever before, with the increase in divorce and remarriage, adoption … In short, a family is any group of people who live together, share with one another, work together, care and support each other, keep each other safe and love each other. (Boys & Girls Clubs of America, "What is a Family?")
A family system consists of more than one person, they form the most close and personal of groups. Every family has guidelines in place that govern its function and there are behaviors with this informal group which makes them distinguishable from other groups. Every family member plays a critical role in the system. As such, it is not possible that one member of the system can change without causing a ripple effect of change throughout the family system
The textbook defines "family" as "the basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children" and includes "any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family". Ideas about what families are come to us partly from our surroundings. From the time we are young, we are exposed to ideas about what families ought to look like and how they should function. We are exposed to alternative images as we become acquainted with the different family structures portrayed by the media; books, newspapers, magazines, films, and especially television. For decades, television has served as a high-powered cultural lens on families. For the most part, these images have tended to be conventional
These past six weeks of placement have widened my eyes and perspective to many things, including the complexity of foster families. While in the midst of my placement at the London-Middlesex Children’s Aid Society (CAS), I was given the opportunity to contact a family in which my partner and I would conduct four home visits with. These visits would allow us to complete a family assessment and work through any health-related issues they may currently be facing. The family my partner and I chose to work with, the Meyer family will be reviewed in this reflection, as I will be examining the experiences of my first interaction with the family’s matriarch and patriarch. For confidentiality reasons, the family’s last name was changed for this paper.
The unit of a family is the most prominent essential for all of us. As social human beings, we seek social support in order to thrive, and that is where family comes into play. A family is where you receive love, support, encouragement, and many other social benefits. The total number of households in the United States increased from 63 million in 1970 to 113 million in 2008 (Weeks, 2012). The family has influenced multitudes of people in many ways. The traditional family in the United States consists two-married individuals providing care and stability for their biological offspring also know as the nuclear family. However, the term of a true family has ultimately changed over the last 50 years especially for African Americans.
The traditional, American family, made up of a “bread-winner” father, a “housewife” mother, and their children, can be traced back to the 1950s as being the most prevalent type of family. This type of family is what many people would think of when they thought of the typical family. Nowadays, fewer people think of the nuclear family unit as the typical American family. The American family in the 21st century is declining due to factors, such as increasing divorce rates, division of labor, and cohabitation.
To thoroughly elaborate on the institution of family we most look at the family as it was before and how much it has changed over time. Throughout the years we are recognizing that the family is slowly being replaced by other agents of socialization. Families in the past consisted of a mother and a father and most times children. We are, as many societies a patriarchal society; men are usually the head of the households. This has always been considered the norm.