Essay on Changing Families and the Impact on Surrounding Systems

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Changing Families and the Impact on Surrounding Systems
Introduction
The changing composition of the family unit in the United States has been attributed to several factors including historical events, changing cultural values, economic trends, and government policies. There is a reciprocal impact between changes that have occurred in each of these major systems. Several theories have been presented in an attempt to explain events that occur in both micro and macro social systems. With regard to the family unit, many theories could be applied to explain changes that have transpired. However, two that are particularly relevant and useful in this area are role theory and feminist theory. This paper will explore each of these theories
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Women have often been oppressed when reviewing periods in American history. In the past, women were not encouraged to become independent members of society. They have experienced substansial hurdles in areas such as education, employment, earnings, and in lifestyle choice. The report, Women in America (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011) is one of most comprehensive sources for information on women’s lives today. It provides statistical data about trends for women in family life, employment, education, and income. Based on the data provided in the report, it is evident that women have made dramatic strides over the past several decades and experienced notable change in each of the catagories.
According to the report, more and more women are completing advanced degrees and entering the professional workforce. For example, the percantage of women with at least a bachelor’s degree increased from about 10% of the population in 1970 to approximately 30% of the population in 2009. Furthermore, women currently outpace men in degree attainment. In 2008, 60% of bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded to women. It should be noted, however, that even with this higher level of degree attainment, women still earn only about 75% of their male counterparts.
What does this mean in terms of the changing family? Rising levels of education have brought more women into the labor force and increased their…

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