Essay about The Post World War Two American Family Structure

Essay about The Post World War Two American Family Structure

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The post world war two American family, was a very different family structure than had previously existed in America. They were not radically different in terms of power, but more in a terms of responsibilities held by its members. The family unit itself had different goals that every member work towards, but the children, wives and husbands of the families contributed in very different ways.
Families during this time, main purpose and drive was to better their current lives as much as possible and to achieve their idea of the American dream (“Famous Landmark Documentary”). No longer was a family just trying to survive like there were in early America. Achieving the American dream is a pretty abstract goal. In the minds of most Americans of the time this meant they needed to get married, have children, live in a good community, and be as financially stable as possible (“Famous Landmark Documentary”). As a result, most saw getting married, having children and having money as more important than any community, national or world problems at the time ( Jabour 371). As proof to these beliefs, many felt they could just look at the black community, and the claims of instability and unhappiness of their families. They blamed this on statistics like, a quarter of black marriages ended in divorce, a quarter of births were illegitimate, and a quarter of household were headed by females ( Jabour 376). Somewhat different from the ideal household of a working husband, a stay at home wife, and three to four kids living in the suburbs (Alvah 25).
Children 's role by far changed the most since the early farm family days. They were no longer needed to help with the housework or in the fields. Instead parents tried to keep as much of the rea...


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...nging a significant amount of money into the family, they were usually the ones with the financial power in the family, Like the farm families the father/husband was expect to be the head of the family and make most of the major decisions ( Jabour 373). Husbands were not expected to help with the children, although many wives encouraged it, but they were expected to be the boss and the law of the household ( Jabour 373). This is still all very similar to the patriarchal nature of the early farm families, with the exception that the husbands were not doing all this work to survive, but to have their family live the American dream, or at the very least give their kids a chance at achieving the American dream.
Clearly, despite there being many similarities to the earlier family structures, the family structure of post world war two era was an entirely different beast.

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