The American Family As An Institution

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

Changes in the marital family are usually caused by the introduction of contraceptives, the rise of the rates of divorce which could be attributed to no-fault divorce and the legalization of same-sex marriages. However, the traditional model of the family has not died yet since many people seem to take the marriage route. Moreover, deindustrialization has brought about an increased rate of unemployment in developed countries causing financial strain to the family which in turn leads to psychological stress which has devastating consequences such as domestic violence, suicide and the increased use of drugs. The changes in family structure brought about by deindustrialization have a lot of impacts such as affecting the children's well-being. Moreover, lack of jobs causes a strain in the relationships of spouses leading to divorce since the financial incapability sucks out the happiness in a marriage. Families may be struggling with very serious financial constraints as they try to reconcile family aspirations and work. INTRODUCTION In America, the traditional family in America is a support system which involves a marriage between two individuals who provide care and a stable for their children. The nuclear family is becoming less prevalent with other forms of the family being common. This is brought about by high rates of divorce, single-parent families, same-sex marriages and high interests in the adoption of children. Moreover, feminist movements and other social movements have also contributed to other alternative forms of family. Therefore, the ideal family involves a nuclear and extended family, however, this has changed over the years.

Sign up to view the full document!

Deindustrialization has negative effects on the family because of being a major cause of unemployment. There are various effects of the changing structure of the economy on the family in the American society such as increasing the divorce rates and affecting the well-being of children (Brown, Manning and Stykes, 2015:177). A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FAMILY BEFORE THE 20TH CENTURY After America had been founded, a normal family was made up of a husband who was considered the head of the family, biological children and also the extended family in general but there was an exception of the case of slaves. Therefore, people who were legally married remained married until they passed on and because of this, divorce was rare. This dominant structure played an important role in the establishment and replications of standard roles for men and their female counterparts (Davidoff and Hall, 2013:1780).

Sign up to view the full document!

Women's role was raising children and offering assistance to their husbands at home. Married women were not allowed to own property and could not, therefore, enter into contracts or even sue or be sued. The husband, on the other hand, provided for the family and was in control of all the finances and had the ultimate authority before the law and the society as a whole. Changes were noticed after the 19th century where married women were allowed to own property and enter into contracts but the role of the wife in the household was still structured by her husband. Another trend involved the government granting rights to same-sex couples hence leading to reduced barriers in the gay and lesbian unions. These changes do not suggest that the family is an institution that will not survive in the future.

Sign up to view the full document!

Approximately 90% of citizens living in America marry and bring up children and even those who find themselves divorcing still remarry. In as much as marriages look more different, are established in times which are different, dissolved in different ways and in different periods as compared to those in the past, marriage will still be considered the most dominant family structure in the future. DEINDUSTRIALIZATION Deindustrialization mainly refers to the reduction of manufacturing goods and employment which occurs in industrialized countries (Gui-Diby and Renard, 2015:43). Moreover, apart from affecting workers earning minimal wages, deindustrialization has affected unions negatively since the sector of manufacturing is the most unionized sectors. It undermines the strength of the union since many companies have escaped the demands of salaries of workers by the unions. THE IMPACT OF DEINDUSTRIALIZATION ON FAMILIES Deindustrialization is known to have detrimental effects on the family and the community as a whole.

Sign up to view the full document!

Unemployment or low wages caused by the phenomenon affects family arrangements (Pederson and Joshua, 2013:302). When outcomes are compared for children who have parents who are unemployed with the children whose parents have a stable income, there is a positive association between the loss of a job by their parent and the destabilization of changes in arrangements in the family structure in months which follow for toddlers living with a mother living together with an unmarried partner, single mother or even with married parents. THE IMPACT OF CHANGING STRUCTURE OF THE ECONOMY ON FAMILY IN THE AMERICAN SOCIETY The last twenty years have seen scholars come up with research majoring on the effect that the structure of the family has on the well-being of the child (Browns et al, 2015:171). For instance, the separation of parents has detrimental impacts on the well-being of the child which persist up to their adulthood.

Sign up to view the full document!

Children whose parents have separated or divorced function within average limits or normally and can, therefore, not be characterized as disturbed. Some children are actually known to benefit from the divorce by their parents since they may acquire certain strengths or even learn to be responsible. The children may also benefit where they were in a family situation that was aversive, for instance, a conflicting family. Unemployment or low wages brought about by deindustrialization affects family arrangements by causing destabilization of changes in arrangements in the family structure. Moreover, psychological stress changes the family structure which may bring about adverse effects which are long-term to the development of the children. The financial pressure caused by lack of a job may bring about depression, stress and tensions in the family which brings about devastating consequences such as domestic violence, suicide and the increased use of drugs.

Sign up to view the full document!

References Abanyam and Luman, N. Effects of Deindustrialization on Peripheral Nations. ’Til recession do us part: booms, busts and divorce in the United States. Applied Economics Letters, 20(3), 255-261. Davidoff, L. Hall, C. Family fortunes: Men and women of the English middle class 1780–1850. Narrative Inquiry, 23(2), 302-322.

Sign up to view the full document!

From $10 to earn access

Only on Studyloop

Original template

Downloadable