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Changes In Family Structure Essay

680 words - 3 pages

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a family is "a group of two or more people who reside together and who are related by birth, marriage, or adoption" (U.S. Census Bureau). How would we fit what today’s society calls a “family” in this definition? Families no longer live together. Some live in different houses, different cities, and even different states. Children go long periods of time without seeing either mommy or daddy, sometimes both. We have become so adapt to a single-parent household it is what has become “normal.” Family structure has changed quite abundantly, this definition does not fit for every “family”.
The last fifty years have seen a dramatic rise in divorce (the U.S. has the highest of any industrialized nation), cohabitation rather than marriage, "blended" families of both gay and heterosexual design, and children born out of wedlock (more than half of all African-American children) (Castelloe). Women were becoming more so independent and less dependent upon man. Women started producing less, and waiting longer to marry. When married, two income households became more popular than what they once were. It seems as if women and men were now switching roles. What was once just a woman’s job, started to become man’s job too. This change was due to the growth and increasing sophistication of the economy, which meant that economic issues became less pressing for families and production moved outside the home to specialized shops and factories (“Family Life, 19th-Century Families”).
Another aim of the change in family structure came from women’s rights. Women wanted to be treated the same as man in every way possible. They wanted to get out of the “house-wife” role. Women fought long and hard for their rights, once they got them they let the traditional job of a woman lose its dwelling. Today, "traditional" families with a working husband, an unemployed wife, and one or more children make up less than fifteen percent of the nation's households (Mintz).

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