Gender Roles & Family Structure Changes

Topics: Family, Gender role, Mother Pages: 3 (1123 words) Published: October 16, 2012
In the 1950's, the ideal family consisted of a hard-working father, homemaker mother, and a couple of children (preferably one daughter and one son) all living together under a roof in the suburbs on the outskirts of a larger city. This view of the all American modern family was portrayed to society through social media, especially, and was widely accepted. I have experienced a similar family structure while growing up, but still had it's differences compared to the normative American family back then. Today, people realize and see that there is not the same consensus of family dynamics and lifestyles that the 1950's demonstrated when "the family life and gender roles became much more predictable" (Coontz 36). An analysis of Stephanie Coontz's, What We Really Miss About the 1950's, along with the episodes of Leave It To Beaver, have revealed certain roles and structure of a quintessential family that clearly exhibits the definite changes in family dynamics today.

Throughout Stephanie Coontz's essay, she emphasizes her idea of family structures in many situations. She argues that "shows such as Leave It to Beaver were not the way families really were […] people watched them to see how families were supposed to live - and also to get a little reassurance that they were headed in the right direction" (38). Here, readers should realize that these sitcoms that were watched were advertisements to families in a way to demonstrate the "American Dream". For example these episodes served as a guide to how to raise their children, organize their marriage, and have the perfect family structure. Today, we hardly ever see any television shows demonstrating these types of problems. We typically see more of reality television shows broadcasting the ideas of being the perfect individual, rather than a perfect family through celebrities and figures we praise and look up to. Also, television shows like Family Guy, portray the opposite of family structures in the 1950's, revealing...
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