Throughout the course of history and from the time that human beings began to modernize and grow into civilizations, the beliefs of what was thought normal, the distinct ways of living; have greatly changed over time. One certain belief that is focused in this paper is family structure, the contrast there is between nuclear families and the extended ones. Although the United States has now a dominant structure, which is nuclear families, it wasn’t always like this. It alone has many different norms of family structure due to differences in socioeconomic status, the government, religion, media, culture, etc. Moreover, do other countries. One must think how these types of influences also play a key role in other parts of the world, for example the Latin-American countries whose main structure is extended families. This paper will focus on family structure in United States but Latin America as well. How has family structure changed over time in the United States? How has family structure changed in Latin America? How do these two different parts of the world, differ from each other and how do they compare in terms of family structure and what influences them? Finally, where might the future of family structure be headed towards, in both of these regions of the world?
Keywords: Family Structure U.S, Family Structure Latin America
Modernized Family Structure in the
United States and Latin America
Family structure is a concept that has changed over time. As complex as it is, it can have a variety of structures, or forms. There isn’t a single definition for this term, as in there is not only one unique model of family, there’s no stereotype for it. As known families and the changes within them, are different from country to country and around the world, this is due to the fact that there’s different customs, values, morals, cultures and traditions, education, marriages, fertility rates, economy different industrialization levels among those countries, etc. However, the more outstanding change has occurred between nuclear families and extended families, because those are the two main family structures, and the ones who seem to be changing in this modern world. The previous mention facts provide the reasons why this is happening and also how can it become in the future if it continues this way. The United States is a great example of modernization and these changes in family, because it went from a large number of extended families to an increasing number of nuclear families. On the other hand, there are the Latin American countries, that even though they have also modernized, they still have more extended families due to culture, traditions or education reasons. Using as an example this two different regions, which are completely different economic and culture wise. It will be easier to show differences and similarities that Latin America has undergone compared to the United States of America over time and why it is this way.
Types of Structures
Family is a social institution that unites people to cooperate with one another in groups, with the purpose of taking care of each one in the group. Therefore, there is not a specific model for what a family should look like. There are different types and ways of families living in households all around the world. For example: One-parent families, composed by single mother or father; families with couples that aren’t married, Blended families; singlehood, single independent people, adoptive families, single childs, etc. However, the two predominant types that have evolved over time and conflict with each other, those are extended and the nuclear families. The Nuclear family also known as “conjugal family” is a family composed of the two spouses and their children, based on marriage. The Extended family is composed of parents and children as well as other kin; this being grandparents, uncles, cousins, etc. This group is also called “consanguine...
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