“The Changing American Family”: A Sociological View
The families in America are steadily changing. While they remain our most valued and consistent source of strength and comfort, some families are becoming increasingly unstructured. In the past, the typical family consists of a working father, a stay at home mother and, of course, well-rounded children. Today, less than 20 percent of American families fit nicely into this cookie cutter image. American households have never been more diverse. Natalie Angier takes stock of the changing definition of family in an article for the New York Times. A family is seen as a group of people who are biologically or psychologically related. They connect on historical, emotional or economic bonds, and perceive themselves as part of a household. Whilst there are several different types of family by definition, Natalie focuses on the uprising of the atypical form. Natalie portrays five extremely different types of families in order to demonstrate the ongoing changes to average American family. She then continues to express the key role each family type plays and it affects the daily dynamic of each one. Ranging from a dual career family, to a same sex marriage family with children, all the way to fictive kin, Natalie explains the family dynamic and how it comes to be. The dual career family, in which both parents are working in the labor force, is now the typical family type. When both parents belong to the working labor force, one thinks that the responsibility of upbringing the children becomes more evenly distributed. However Natalie states that, “American men spend 35 to 55 minutes longer on the job each day than women do, while working mothers devote eight more hours a week to child care and housekeeping compared with working fathers.” Even though women have evolved from the stay at home mom, the cultural norm of the maternal instinct still seems to overbear that of the working mom. On another...
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