What are the consequences of the breakdown of the traditional family for American society?

Essay by chalenebealsCollege, UndergraduateA-, February 2003

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What are the consequences of the breakdown of the

traditional family for American society?

Definition of family: The Western world regards the family as consisting of two or more people who consider themselves related by blood, marriage, or adoption; also known as a nuclear family. The extended family includes grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc.

The changing family: At one time families worked together on farms, family trade, etc. They worked as a family to provide for the family. Parents instilled in their children morals, and values, taught them right from wrong and the consequences for their actions. With the industrial age, the man left the home to work in factories while the wife remained home to tend to the running of the household and raising the children. As women increasingly entered the work force, the socialization was shifted from the home to the school and other community organizations. Once a major function of the family, to contribute to the learning and practicing cultural values and beliefs is now left up to day care providers.

Race-ethnicity, does this play a role in the breakdown? Race-ethnicity does not show significant information for understanding the family. However, social class and culture holds the key. For example: Americans tend to marry within the same social class and Asian-American families tend to be more permissive with child rearing and more likely to use shame and guilt to control their children's behavior.

Children of divorce: The laws make it easy for parents to divorce on grounds of "no fault" or "irreconcilable differences". The United States has the highest rate of divorce in the world. Most parents that are divorcing are so consumed with their own problems that they do not prepare their children for the divorce causing children to become confused and insecure. Parents will "use" the...