Due to various events and the emergence of new laws, the traditional forms of families are now opposed to new types of families that become more common and create new traditions and behavior changes. This paper will discuss the evolution of marriage and family in the U.S. over the past 50 years, the kinds of families that evolved recently, and how they are portrayed in media.
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The meaning of family has changed in the U.S. substantially during the previous 50 years. It is reported that in 1960, 73% of children lived in “traditional” (nuclear) families with parents of different gender (Bonner, 2019). As the situation changed dramatically, different kinds of families become accepted. New types of families include single-parent households, families with parents who live together but are not married or families with two parents who were divorced and brought children from prior relationships to a new family (blended) (Bonner, 2019). Families with two parents of the same gender also became acceptable currently.
Talking about family importance, it can be said that the significance of family has fallen based on the number of marriages in the U.S. In 1960, more than 70% of people aged over 18 were married, nowadays, less than 50% of people of the same age are married (Troyer, 2019). The situation can be explained by the acceleration of growth opportunities for people, education availability, the decreasing birth rate, and other reasons (Bonner, 2019). Families are also portrayed differently on T.V. now than they were previously. In the 1960s, nuclear families were everywhere in series, T.V. ads, on billboards, using stereotypical roles. Today, families and family members’ roles have changed significantly, as shown in serials, such as “Modern Family” that show families with same-sex partners, interracial couples, blended families (The Artifice, 2016).
Overall, it can be concluded that the concept of family has evolved drastically over the past 50 years. The changes in social, economic, political spheres contributed to the changes in attitudes towards families, their importance, and their portrayal. Nevertheless, families are still prevalent and do not lose their significance among people in the U.S.; rather, they are transforming into new kinds that are more appropriate to the current time.
Bonner, T. (2019). Here’s how the American family has changed in the past 50 years. PennLive.
Troyer, M. (2019). 50 ways the American family has changed in the last 50 years. Stacker.
The Artifice. (2016). How has the idea of “family” changed on television since World War II?
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