The Dwindling American Family

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The Dwindling American Family “Families are the compass that guides us, the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter” (Brad Henry). But can the American family do all these when it is in such a declining state? Family has always been the institution that teaches people their beliefs and core values as future society’s members. Up until half a century ago, family used to be a place where all of its members desire each other’s’ unconditional love, and dependability. But all those traditional standards of a family have been crumbling during the past few decades due to the diminishing relationships between its members and the reduction of connections toward their society. The attitudes toward family …show more content…
This leads to adolescents exposing themselves more to the outside, thus family becomes of less value to them. Social and domestic changes have had an unfortunate effect on families but they are not the only factors that have caused the decline of the American family. Economic fluctuations have contributed to the decline of the American family because most people have given up on family as the primary focus of their everyday lives. Since money has increased in value over time, our society has become much less dependent on family and instead significantly much more dependent on cash. According to researchers, “over 58 percent of American households have both parents working full time” (Catalyst). More than half of all American families have both parents in the workforce. By having both parents in the workforce, children make fewer connections and can rarely form proper relationships with their parents. Parents have to give up many things related to either child-rearing or work in order to have time for the other. Money as an important aspect of our everyday lives eventually leads to financial problems which may prevent people from taking risks by marrying. Because of issues created …show more content…
Cultural differences have changed regarding the idea of marriage and family. The institution known as family from 50 years ago is completely different from the one from today. “For centuries, marriage was stable precisely because it was not expected to provide such benefits. As soon as love became the driving force behind marriage, people began to demand the right to remain single if they had not found love or to divorce if they fell out of love” (Coontz 120). Marriages are easily taken for granted and are no more the sanctified unity between a man and a woman. The idea of marriage has changed within the past 50 years and has probably been the driving factor for the decrease in numbers of families.
People are becoming more “free” to choose their spouse and come out of a relationship which usually takes a lot of commitment whenever they please.
Because of this, marriage takes less commitment and responsibility and in turn loses its sanctity toward the society. “Marriage is no longer the institution where people are initiated into sex. It no longer determines the work men and women do on the job or at home, regulates who has children and who doesn’t,

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