The Role Of Family In The 1950's Society

1289 Words null Page
The word family conjures certain images to mind. A mother and father, and their children; a very specific picture. A very simple picture. For the most part, this picture is inaccurate. The number of nuclear families in the United States amounts to about fourteen percent (Census). The mental picture comes from a stereotype of the 'model family ' from the 1950 's. During that time, it made up the majority of society because people wanted what they saw on television, The simple, perfect, happy family. Today, family structure is much more varied and open to interpretation. This trend from the specific to the general has more to do with the increased complexity of our society as a whole. Television is an excellent signifier of society 's shift …show more content…
This is reflected in television shows from the era. Shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver, were focused on the family with a magnanimous father/husband, his supportive and loving housewife, and their obedient, well behaved children. They all had a central problem that they worked through together easily and all found themselves better people for it. No problem was ever too big as long as they worked together. The shows were propaganda of sorts, advocating family life and central values. These archetypes served as a sort of guiding standard for viewers to strive for; the perfect …show more content…
A concept that revolves more around who an individual sees as their family, not who they 're biologically related to. This wasn 't always the case though, in the 1950 's the word family was a very exact thing, a list of requirements that had to be met in order to be classified a family. It is referred to as the the nuclear family: a father, mother, and children. That was all, simple and to the point.Today, the word family is a variety of things. In "The Changing American Family," author Natalie Angier states, "Families, they say, are becoming more socially egalitarian over all, even as economic disparities widen. Families are more ethnically, racially, religiously, and stylistically diverse than half a generation ago... ," (2) She offers the reader this premise that family is a fluid thing, not even remotely 'typical ' in nature. Throughout her research and interviews, a pattern emerges. Family structure today, with families of one and families lead by gay couples, it is an extremely diverse spectrum. It isn 't a simple model that is followed, it is an emotional relationship that is created and explored. Family structure now, as opposed to the 1950 's, is radically more

Related Documents