American Individualism

Great Essays
In America, many believe that taking care of children is a private responsibility this has had led to many work environments to be inflexible and non-family friendly. This perspective was born out of the American ethos of individualism- an ideology that stresses that individuals must be independent and that they are fully responsible for their life outcomes. Hays (2003) argues that this cultural value of self-sufficiency has made us insensitive and nonunderstanding to the social factors that influence life outcomes. This ideology has led to a prominent absence of social policies that surround family support in America, especially for those in the working class. The United States’ family orientated social policies are outdated and are deficient …show more content…
While observing other industrialized countries they highly value their human capital and contribute to this capital to better their society. This mindset has led them to be collective with their society by sharing the cost of raising children. Due to the individualistic value that Americans hold, middle-class mothers pour their money into private resources for their children while working class mothers struggle to make ends meet and they are unable to contribute to a child’s development. In this paper, I will argue that the American ideology of individualism has branded and reinforced children as a family’s private responsibility through inflexible social policies and non-family friendly work environment, making raising a child a hardship for the middle and working class mothers (families). This has led to the United States’ high levels of poverty, inequality and is causing the degeneration of future …show more content…
According to Crittenden (2001), this separation has left the most hardworking people (mothers) as ‘dependents’ who are considered not working and who have to be supported. This devalues the individuals who work as their child’s caretaker making it appear that raising a child does not include labor intensive work. Even though the future of the economy is in the hands of those who are raising the next generation's human capital they are viewed as a private good. Since human capital accounts for 75% of “the producible forms of wealth” without parents developing this human capital there would be no future economy or society (Crittenden 2001). Due to this, raising and developing a child should be the most valued jobs throughout society and be viewed as a “public good” So, that society will want to partake in its growth and

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