Society Must Redefine The Meaning Of Family

1193 words - 5 pages

Society Must Redefine the Meaning of Family


Society seems to have many different opinions when it comes to relationships and families and what is ideal. The ideal family may not exist anymore. We now have in our society families that are complete that do not necessarily contain the traditional material. The traditional family, as society would see it; usually consist of a married, mother and father and usually children. Moms are supposed to stay at home while dads work the forty-hour a week job. However, in our 2003 world, families exist in a lot of non-traditional ways. A lot of families now consist of single parent families, or same sex parents and their children, or even couples that are unmarried but live together. And even now, if a family contains what society sees as traditional as far as having a mom, dad, and kids, other aspects are not traditional anymore. Women now have more opportunity in the workplace than they have ever had, therefore, many moms are career moms and dads are sometimes staying at home. Years ago, these types of families were given labels for being dysfunctional or abnormal, however, this label is not holding up as well as it did years ago. There are many non-traditional families that are raising children in a loving, nurturing home with a substantial amount of quality love. Quality is the key in any relationship between anyone. Society is finding out that it is not the traditional image that makes a loving family, but the quality of a relationship that people give to each other is what really makes a family. In the essay "The Myth of the "Normal" Family", written by Lousie B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach, they make references to the cultural idea of what a "normal" family should be and what it really is. They also help us to understand how the definition of family has changed over the years.

Society has changed their definition of family over the years. According to Silverstein and Auerbach's essay "most people believe that the best way to raise children is with both a stay-at-home mother and a breadwinner father in a long-term marriage that lasts "till death do us part" (Silverstein, Auerbach 604). This used to be what the image of the ideal traditional family was and what was best for children. However, as generations pass this idea seems to be becoming an old myth. With the economy at a low and women having more power and opportunities, tradition has changed families. Women are taking on careers and working and are no longer being the stay-at-home moms. Dad roles are also changing. The role of the male has generally been known for making money, having power, and job related responsibility. Men are now taking on babysitting and housekeeping as additional roles. Those additional roles are definitely a big change for society, as men have traditionally carried the role as the strong, job oriented, male.

In the past, more couples tended to stay together regardless of how bad a marriage was because that...

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