The American Family In A Time Of Intense Cultural Change

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The American Family in a Time of Intense Cultural Change

The American Family in a Time of Intense Cultural Change


In the past decade, the structure of an American family has gone through tremendous transformations. Today, the values have become relative instead of absolute; families have established their own specific values that differ in every household. The twentieth century was comprised of major changes in the economy that were accompanied by the changes in family life that kept on evolving and rejuvenating the old traditions and practices (Bianchi & Casper, 2000). With the increase in employment opportunities women decided to leave their households, becoming part of the labor force. This gave rise to the postponement of marriage, importance of attending college and culture of working part time during high school. As the American families have evolved the country itself has changed. The nuclear family is dominated by single-parent households, women concentrating on their work lives, pregnant women aborting their child while gay couples adopting children.

This evolution has turned the bottles against the modern American culture. A rapidly growing market is perceived to be a constructive indicator for the health of the country yet a rapidly evolving family is judged negatively. Instead of understanding and reexamining the reasons contributing towards these changes the conservatives oppose them with criticism and disillusion.



Throughout the 20th century, most women have lived with one man and most children have lived with their parents. Families and households are seen as institutions with distinctive features (Katz & Stern, 2007). A family is said to have passed through different stages of life and is characterized by a number of relationships with each other. As a distinctive entity a family adopts different strategies to move ahead in life contributing to the social and economic structure of a state.

Additionally, it also has an impact on architectural decisions affecting the demand for public and private services. The history has moved from a notion of standardization to diversity which then dominated the American families. A few trends which were the highlight of the twentieth century included (Katz & Stern, 2007).; reduction in the marital fertility rate, the old aged individuals started moving out from their children home and the rise in the percentage of unmarried couples living together. These transformations have reshaped the domestic landscape as this resulted in immense rearrangement of types of the households.


A marriage is a private contract between two families in which no one else has the right of intervention. Even the religion, Christianity defines marriage as an agreement between two parties that is made according to their will. Before the 16th century (Coontz, 2007), the Church accepted the validity of a marriage even if the couple had exchanged their vows in a deserted island. In fact, the validity of the contract did not depend on the approval of the church or state but the approval of the two people on which the contract became binding. It was not until the 16th century when marriages were told to be performed under ...
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