Marriage And Social Inequality : The Changing Landscape Of American Society

826 Words Dec 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
Marriage and Social Inequality It has been claimed that in the future, differences between married-couple families and other families will continue to be a growing source of social inequality. One reason that this is untrue is the changing landscape of American society; namely, the gradual replacement of the older percentage of the population (those over age 55) with younger individuals. Older people tend towards having more conservative political views, as well as being more religious than younger generations (Cohen 473). Their conservatism means that they generally believe in the 1960’s gold standard of the American family: a married heterosexual couple living with only their biological children (Cohen 457). They consider modern diversity among families (where this traditional ‘ideal’ makes up less than half of family types today) to be detrimental to the institution of marriage. And since the older age demographic occupies up most public and political positions, they have a disproportionate amount of say and influence on both law and public opinion. Their tendency to be more conservative is reflected in policies that are aimed at promoting married-couple families, such as the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, which encouraged “the formation and maintenance of two-parent families” under the premise that “marriage is the foundation off a successful society” (Cohen 293). However, many of these initiatives, including TANF, fell flat; the services…

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