Essay on Functionalism Of The American Family

Essay on Functionalism Of The American Family

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With today’s vast informational networks, a single question may result in a flood of text, pictures, and videos from all directions. It becomes easy to forget what the original question even was while filtering out what is useful, and similarly to that process lies the history of the American family. People lose sight of what path they took to reach the current point in their life, never mind what kind choices their ancestors made. Tracing back those steps though, one can see not only the decisions of the past, but also the circumstances that drove those decisions. Further analysis reveals many factors that influenced the previous generations, with technology being a considerably large one. As technology developed, so did the American family, and with it came changes in gender roles, norms, and social structure as the country adapted its individual components to better fit the flow of the world.
Sociology has inspired many schools of thought, although one of perhaps the most prominent is Functionalism. Functionalism focuses on how pieces interact with each other to form the working whole, or as how Robert K. Merton described it, how “functions” promote balance in a society (pg 25 textbook). From his perspective, the United States could be compared to a complex piece of machinery, with each gear and cog representing an individual facet of society. Just as how the rest of the machinery must be adjusted to maintain its functionality when one gear is changed, society must change its standards to meet innovations from around the nation if it were to remain balanced. Technology in particular offered great promises to American families, although to allow room for those promises, many had to alter their lives.
Lives most impacted by t...


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...fe. Like the machine that needed to adjust many of its components because of a single gear change, the United States was forced to adapt its society as technology influenced individuals of the nation. With the rapid development of electronics and science though, more change can be expected. Improvements in communication has lend itself to increased globalization, and has allowed citizens in one nation form bonds with those in a wildly different part of the world. Bonds people share allow them to create a wider range of empathy and compassion. In the distant future, America 's general concept of a family may expand to include not only those they feel a close bond with, but all forms of life, whether they are humans of another culture or animals across the ocean. At this point though, it is too difficult to decide if that will truly be the case; only change is certain.

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