The Myth of the Model American Family

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This essay, The Myth of the Model American Family, is a discussion of the concept of an ideal family in the different perspective specifically social, cultural and economic. This is also an attempt to identify the structural changes in relation to the global development and the international economic crisis that immensely created impact on their lives. However, the discussion will limit itself on the different identifiable and observable transformations as manifested in the lifestyles, interrelationships and views of family members and will not seek to provide an assessment of their psycho-social and individual perceptions. Introduction

As the basic social institution families reflects the state of every nation, the American family in particular have established a culture unique in its own, which can primarily be attributed to their stature as the standards of freedom, justice and progress. Traditionally, a model American family is a nucleus consisting of the father, mother and children and each member is expected to play their roles specifically the father as head of the family is the bread winner, the mother is responsible in the caring for the children and keeping the house while the children are expected to show respect to their parents, excel academically and be the pride of the family. These are the ideals and any form of deviation is a reflection of failure of the member, shame to the whole family or an anti-social act justifying discrimination from other members of the society. Historically and even at present, majority of American families maintained this perception, however, radical changes in the socio-economic political system dramatically transformed this perception. These developments were reflected in stories, poetries and novels published giving the impression that the existence of model American families is nothing but a myth. In the "Color of Families Ties", Gerstel and Sarkisian attempt to examine...
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