The Way We Really Are:
Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families
In the article, "The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing
Families", author Stephanie Coontz summarizes many points that are affecting families
today. In the last two decades, many Americans have harked back to what they perceived
to be the "good old days", the 1950s where every household had two parents. Times
when family values and the strength of family were much more evident than it is thought
to be today. Ms. Coontz's article elaborates the topics of how the family dynamic has
changed in the last generation, and how these community groups see the downfall of
society, as they perceive the family to be disintegrating. Single-parent homes, divorce,
and Mothers that work outside of the home are her major topics.
I agree with Ms. Coontz position in her article. The first topic she addresses is the
misconception that society has with what a single parent home is today.
There are many
groups within communities that point out how our society has deteriorated drastically.
Studies are brought forth in the media to show how unwed parenting is on the rise like no
other point in history. Ms. Coontz notes valid theories and sources that demonstrate the
numbers are actually no higher than at any other time in history. My belief is not that
unwed mothers are more prevalent than ever, it is that they are more in the open then ever.
I have known of cases up until the mid-1960s, that when a teenage girl became pregnant,
she either married the father, the child would be raised as the "sibling", or the girl would
Changing families 3
be sent away until the baby was born. Of course the birth rates for unwed mothers were...