The Changing Family

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Chelane Filomeo
American Intercontinental University
Unit 4 Individual Project
SSCI210 - Sociology
10 March, 2013

The Changing Family
The dynamics of the typical family unit have been changing over the last five decades, where the traditional family unit has been declining, while at the same time, non-traditional family units are becoming more commonplace. This paper will look at some of the ways in which family dynamics have changed, and explore some of the reasons why. Changing Family Dynamics

The dynamics of a family structure have long been held by tradition, although those traditions differ among various cultures. But the fundamental structure of a family is a unit of people connected by marriage, birth, or adoption (Editorial Board, 2012). In the United States, the traditional family has been the nuclear family, consisting of a mother, a father and children, with the father being the primary bread winner and the mother being the primary housekeeper and childcare giver. Marriages have traditionally been between a man and a woman of the same race, ethnicity, religion, or social class. But the last fifty years have seen changes in the family structure and many of the traditions no longer apply. Interracial marriages, once outlawed, are becoming more common, and where law allows, married couples can even be of the same sex.

The makeup of the nuclear family unit has also seen other changes over the last fifty years as divorce has become more common and marriage has become less common. The increased rate of divorce has caused a significant increase in the number of single parent households. In 1950, about 12% of all children lived in single parent homes, but by 2009 the number had increased to 31% (Editorial Board, 2012). But the increase in single parent households can also be attributed to people who simply choose not to marry, whether it’s a single woman with a child, or an individual who chooses to adopt. Society’s views on...
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