Many expert sociologists have alluded to a weakening of the family structure of the years. In an effort to determine if their findings are true, the factors that influence the deterioration have to be examined. Such factors as unemployment, welfare, and the entertainment industry play a major role in the weakening families. “For if the family is becoming less viable economically, our communities and our financial future are in jeopardy. ” (Ellwood, 1993) Lastly, from the 1960’s until now, the global community has witnessed the most drastic changes. The Weakening of the Family Structure
Over the years, the definition of “family” has gone through many changes. In the early1960’s, women were treated unequally within the society, which led to a need for fairness and the Women’s Lib. In addition, the Civil rights bill of 1964 was amended to include gender, and the birth control pill became available. Furthermore, even though the 60’s were the times of social change, and abortion became legalized. The era still left an indelible impression, of what American life represents. In essence, the 60’s left a legacy of how the society and family structure should be in America.
(Carter, 2010) Lastly, the various movements led to many social changes within the society, including the definition of family. There are many factors that were responsible for changes in the family structure, since the 1960’s. One factor that helped change the social structure was the Vietnam War. In essence, the society realized how senseless the conflict was because many men went off to war and never returned. In addition, the rise of feminism was also an essential factor in the changing the family structure.
Furthermore, the feminist movement opened the door for sexual freedom, which led to erotic behaviors being at the forefront of the American society. Moreover, the fight for fairness, gave rise to Equal Employment Opportunity, regardless of race or gender. Lastly, the 60’s gave birth to high rates of unmarried cohabitation, marriage break-ups and lone motherhood, all factors that caused social change. I would have to agree that the family structure is getting weaker and almost unrecognizable. These days, there are more teen pregnancies, less successful marriage and higher divorce rates.
In essence, women are in the workplace, and most value a career over marriage and family. Moreover, the large income disparities, have led to a more violent and more vicious society, where younger people are more neglectful of his or her elders. Furthermore, it is currently socially acceptable, to be unmarried with a child or children. In addition, these days it is also possible for women to conceive by artificial insemination, without a man in their lives at all. In conclusion, presently the society has a large gay and lesbian population, which is far from the traditional family structure.
I do agree with the experts about the weakening of the family within the society. In essence, the society is going to continue to change and deteriorate due to the way we currently live and the things we see. For example, the entertainment industry, glamorizes infidelities, exploits lives, and reinforces violence. It is my opinion that, it is too late to change the societal structure, even if the income disparities are addressed. I believe the media; entertainment industry and the social networks on the Internet are responsible for the weakening of the American Family structure.
However, it must be said the financial issues such as welfare and unemployment are also considered factors. For example, the welfare system allows women to support any children they have out of wedlock, making the need for fathers unessential to the family. “The number of single person households rose from less than 13 percent in 1960 to roughly twice that in 1990. ” (Ellwood, 1993) Moreover, these outside changes in the society, greatly influence the weakening of the family, by enabling high divorce rates, less marriage and the reduced fertility of women.
Lastly, the ever-increasing unemployment rates and low-income wages have caused marriage to decline. In conclusion, strengthening the family structure will not be an easy task, and I am not even sure it is possible. One way that the society can strengthen the family structure is by making sure everyone has a good-paying job. In addition, increasing wages so that mothers and fathers can work and support their families, which will increase marriage rates. Furthermore, increasing wages will also reduce the amount of single-mother households on welfare.
Moreover, the society should reject those types of entertainment and media programs that make infidelity and support the exploitation of alternative family structures. Lastly, the public needs to see more positive images that reinforce or strengthen the family structure. References AIU Online. (2012). Social Change. [Article]. Retrieved from https://mycampus. aiu-online. com/Classroom/Pages/multimediacoursetext. aspx? classid=563231&tid=211&uid=412523&HeaderText=Course%20Materials:%20SSCI210-E-1205B-04%20:%20Sociology AIU Online. (2012). Political and Economic Ideologies. [Presentation]. Retrieved from https://mycampus. aiu-online.
com/Classroom/Pages/multimediacoursetext. aspx? classid=563231&tid=211&uid=412523&HeaderText=Course%20Materials:%20SSCI210-E-1205B-04%20:%20Sociology Carter, Tracey. (2010). Suite101: The Legacy of the 1960’s on American Families. Retrieved from http://suite101. com/article/the-legacy-of-the-1960s-in-america-a187369 Goodwin, S. and Bradley, B . (1999). 1960-1969. American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood Library, Kingwood, TX. Retrieved from http://wwwappskc. lonestar. edu/popculture/decade60. html Ellwood, D. T. (1993). The changing structure of American families. Journal Of The American Planning Association, 59(1), 3.
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