A recent survey shows that despite great social changes, traditional values like family harmony still play an important role in Chinese people's heart. The result was revealed by the
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). In doing the research, we find out what degree
Chinese people felt harmonious in their state of mind. Interpersonal relationship is regarded as
the most important element in the principle of the society. Chinese are most satisfied with their
family relationships. And a harmonious family relationship helps raise people's general condition
with regard to their mental harmony.
When society is undergoing transformation, Chinese family structure has also undergone great changes. Despite this, many people still respect traditional values that focus on family harmony. Compared with other aspects, Chinese like to devote more energy to maintain their families. As a result, they tend to get more support and help from their families. How has the meaning of the word “home” for the traditional family? I believe that a home means a place where people can have privacy and safety. Families are important to people all over the world although the structure of family is different from one country to another or from the traditional family to the modern family.
The traditional family was a nuclear family. The role of the father in the traditional family was to provide for his family. The mother in the traditional family took care of the children physical and emotional needs just as the modern mother does. As Brian K. Williams in his article, "The nuclear family... is the idealized version of what most people think when they think of "family...,” states, “The old definition of what a family is... the nuclear family- no longer seems adequate to cover the wide diversity of household arrangements we see today….," Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships, 2005. The first important difference in the traditional family is man’s role. The traditional husband was the head of the household, because he was the only one who worked outside the home. If the wife worked for pay, then the husband was not considered to be a good provider. In many families today, both husband and wife work for pay. Therefore, they share the role of head of household. In addition, the traditional husband usually made the big decisions about spending money. However, the modern husband shares these decisions with his wife. Also, the traditional husband did not help his wife with the housework or meal preparation. Dinner was ready when he came home. In contrast, the modern husband helps his wife at home. He may do some of the household jobs, and it is not unusual for him to cook.
The second difference is in the woman’s role. In the traditional family, the woman may have worked for pay during her first years of marriage. However, after she became pregnant, she would usually give up her job. Her primary role was to take care of her family and home. In contrast, in many families today, the modern woman works outside the home even after she has children. She is doing two jobs instead of one, so she is busier than the traditional mother was. The traditional wife learned to live within her husbands’ income. On the other hand, the modern wife does not have to (live within her husband’s income) because the family has two incomes. The last difference is in the role of the children. In the traditional family, the children were taken care of by the mother because she did not work outside the home. However, today preschool children may go to a child care center or to a baby-sitter regularly because the mother works. The school-age children of a traditional family were more dependent. Their mother was there to help them to get ready for school and to make their breakfast. In contrast, modern children are more independent. They...
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