The Change of the American Family

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The American family has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. During the 1950s, the Cleavers on the television show “Leave it to beaver” epitomized the American family. In 1960, over 70 percent of all American households were like the Cleavers: made up of a breadwinner father, a homemaker mother, and their kids. Today much of the recent research indicates the traditional American family is not a model anymore in the sense that, there is no ideal or normal family. Family is now defined by some sociologists as, “a unit comprising two or more people who share a residence for a substantial period of time and have legal or moral responsibilities for long term care for each other (our social world p287). As time passes we evolve with all the changes in our society and people are living and thinking how they feel instead of keeping up with the values and morals society once followed. Each of us has a concept of the typical family and how it has changed overtime. Being rooted in our own family experience and community, our views are seldom, if ever, an accurate depiction of the typical family. It is fair to say that there is no such thing as the “typical” family. In our nation the characteristics of families vary dramatically by race and ethnicity, age and income of adult members of the family; religious affiliation; region of the country; and by the demographic, social, and economic factors (monthly labor review p4). One change that has affected the modern American family is Divorce. Back then divorce was uncommon. Single parent households were very rare. The last 50 years have seen a dramatic rise in divorce (the u.s has the highest in any industrialized nation), cohabitation rather than marriage, blended families of both gay and heterosexual design, and children born out of wedlock. Another change that has affected the modern American family is immigration....
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