Weak Families

Topics: Family, Nuclear family, Extended family Pages: 4 (1083 words) Published: March 31, 2014
Weak Families 1

Are Families Becoming Weaker?

Sociology 210, Section 01
Professor McCoy
February 22, 2014
Weak Families 2
Are families really becoming weak or are they just becoming different? Due to the perception of what many think a family should be may have a lot to do with the idea that they are becoming weaker? Although the family dynamic is changing from what it used to be that does not necessarily mean that they are becoming weaker. Would this not constitute that families may just be becoming more different instead? There are ideals that suggest that you could look at this both ways. Either as a weakening trend or just that they are not becoming weak, but the make-up of what a family is now is just different in definition from the traditional ideals of what a family was.

In the 1960s, there were more families that had the concept of the breadwinner father, a home maker mother, and their kids. Today, the “traditional” family is not the norm in society. Minz (2006) stated that the traditional household made up less than 15 percent of the nation’s households. Since this time, there have been changes in ideals and also in the definition of what constitutes a family. Significant changes since the 1960s that may be responsible for the change is families is the that divorce rates have seen a dramatic rise, many are decided to cohabitate rather than marry, “blended” families of both the gay and heterosexual design, and children are being born more out of wedlock. Another factor that has reshaped the family is the massive influx of mothers into the work force. The major forces that have propelled women back into the work force include “the rising cost of living, which spurred many families to seek a second source of income; increased control over fertility through contraception and abortion, which allows women to work without interruption; and rising educational levels which lead many women to seek...

References: Castelloe, Molly S. (2011, April). Changes in the American family. Retrieved from
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the -me-in-we/201104/changes-in-the-american-
Frontline. (2002, August 22). Let’s get married [interview by James Q. Wilson]. Retrieved from
Mintz, Steven. (2014, February). Modern family. Retrieved from
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