1950s Ideal family vs todays families
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A family is a most precious identity a person can have. An individual from a noble, average or poor family can be distinguished by the character, acts, behavior, and living style. A person spends most of his time in life with the family and thus the family contributes the most in an individuals growth, thinking and behavior. When we think of a western family, the standard nuclear family comes to mind, working father, stay-at-home mom and a flock of children. This is no longer the case, in the past 50 years the family has changed significantly and continues to change. These changes are greatly due to the equalization of women’s rights and the massive expansion of available communications technology. In many families nowadays both parents work and when the children are young are put into daycare services that just were not around in the past.
It is now worthwhile for both parents to work since many companies provide the aforementioned daycare for free. Women also have greatly increased earning potential since they are just as educated and will now make the same amount of money as men for doing the same job. Women are hired these days to do other jobs than to be secretaries and nurses. The families of 1950s are considered as ideal and are also known as nuclear families. It consists of a working husband, a housewife and their children mostly two in which the elder one is boy and the younger one is girl. The families of 1950s and mine have a lot of differences because of the change of culture in the society. They include the structure, role, values of education and outlook on future.
The Structure of a family basically composes of a married couple that is man and wife with ideally two biological children in whom the older is the boy and the younger is the girl. There is no association of extended family with the family, thus the aunts, uncles and cousins are usually not the part of the family. However, in my family, I have my married biological father and mother with the six biological children including me that is, we are four brothers and two sisters. We associate with our huge extended family with many aunts, uncles, and cousins both males and females.
The 50s ideal family composed of married parents that created a safe family unit during turbulent social times. The social pressure, economic dependence and stability helped to keep the family as a unit which is why the 1950s families are called as nuclear families. The television shows and sitcoms portrayed harmony and stability in two kids and that it was easy to raise two children. Since there was no extended family involved, the focus was only on the kids. Psychologists and government advised mothers to focus only on their own children. There was a housing shortage that brought all the family together. (34-35).
In my family, my father and mother are married and in my culture the divorce rate is very low, so it is more like 1950s American family. In my religion and culture, marriages are arranged. So my grandfathers of both of my parents were friends so they both decided to be a part of one family and thats how my mother and father got married. My father always wanted to have more children especially boys and we came out to be six siblings including four brothers and two sisters. It is cultural that we have a huge extended family that includes lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The roles of the individuals in a family have changed a lot since 1950 due to the change in the culture and advancement in the technology. Technology has also totally changed the way families operate. Everyone in the family carries various communications devices; pagers, cell phones, PDA’s. This allows the family to communicate and operate as if they were together when in reality they are spread out all over, work, friend’s house, school, the mall. Today’s family no longer does things together; everyone has their own personal schedules, parents acting as chauffeurs for children as they rush from birthday parties to hockey to basketball. In the past those activities were not around, children’s lives were based on the family and not on friends and activities. A husband and wife relationship is often strained in the hectic pace of their lives and if the only time they are together is when they are also with the children their individual relationship is hurt; which could lead to divorce.
In the 1950s ideal family, father is the only bread winner in a family because he has the most education and he has the job and the whole family relies on him. He is the authority and decider in the house and everyone looks up to him for the answers, suggestions and decisions. He sets the rules, guidelines in the house and helps in creating the image of a family. Since he is the one who is out in the world most of the times, hence he creates social networks and friendships among different organizations and families. However, the mother is the housewife who takes care of the children and the house. She makes sure that the kids are doing well in the school and with their friends. She socializes with local mothers and makes family relationships with them. She makes sure that the familys image is decent and the whole family looks and dresses well. Whereas, the kids are in school and their job is to study. They are not enough qualified to get a job. So, they just hang out with their friends and create an image of the family. There is no role of extended family including aunts, uncles and cousins in a family.
My family today is very similar to the 1950s family. My father is the only one working and we all depend on his earnings. He is the decider, and an authority in the house and out in the extended family. My mother is the housewife and she takes care of the house and all six of us. She makes sure that we all are getting food on time and we are doing well at school and that the image of the family outside the house and in the extended family is good. Our only responsibility is to study and do well in our school and get well educated so that we can become doctors, lawyers or engineers. Our extended family takes part in our daily lives including the weddings and funerals.