‘The Changing American Family’
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The Changing American Family
The article “The Changing American family” by Natalie Angier was published in a special issue of the New York Times on the 26th of November 2013. The article is a reflection of the current situation of the changes in the basic component of the society, the family. It discusses the diversity of the families, with the example seen in America over the recent years. The changing of the structure and the form of the family, according to the social construction of gender, and the sociological concepts of the society has been explored. The standard nuclear family does not come out as it is discussed in sociology. The sociological concept of understanding of the family is not reflected as it was brought out by the sociological theorists. However, the championing of the empowerment of women as brought out by the feminists is portrayed by Natalie in this article. The great emphasis of the article is the transformation that the nuclear family has undergone to bring about diverse forms and types of families.
The sociological concept of society as created by human organization is portrayed by Natalie in this article as changing. The interactions that were present in the past led by a family of on mother, a single father and children, are no longer the case. According to Natalie (2013), the present nuclear family exists in a hundred of forms, if analyzed critically from a sociological perspective. The examples given in the article are of families that include pets to become complete. This was not the case before. The concept of families that have emerged, and are made of only one type of sex is brought out well. Natalie gives an example of Schulte and Waysers, a very happy family made of six kids, two married dads, and two kids. Natalie describes the current American family as having become a multilayered conglomeration of all and sundry and ingredients from different backgrounds. He admits that the blended family is the order of the day in the Americas. The shocking story is the way this blending is being done at present. For this, the author gives an example of unmarried couples who are staying together and raising children. They are so blended that the language component of society has been affected. Finding married couples who cannot understand one another by the word of mouth is not a surprise. The concepts of behavior and the ideas of good conduct have been affected too.
The social identity that Natalie describes in this article is in a conflict. The blondeness, with which this family has changed, brings a picture of diverse peoples living together with little contacts between them. Being able to define their identity thus becomes a problem. That confusion for identity according to Natalie is brought about by racial, ethnic, religious and stylistic diversity in the family composition. Natalie agrees that, with this kind of a situation, it is even hard for sociologists to be able to identify the social identity of these families. Natalie gives examples of Baptists being married by atheists, blacks marrying whites, republicans marrying democrats, men marrying men and women marrying women. The combinations complicate further any attempts to define a social identity for such families.
The social concept of inequality has been discussed to a great extent by the author in this article. Natalie argues that the families are becoming more egalitarian, and that there is a widening of the economic gap between the reach and the poor. The families are still going with the principles of division sin the society leading to a fulfillment of the social concept of social stratification. The author agrees that there are inequalities among families based on the race and the ethnicity.
The stability of social structure as existed in the sociological understanding of the family has been disrupted. Families of singles living alone happily are characteristic. Research shows that such families are increasing, with the people involved in them are proud of their way of life. Defining such families becomes hard to sociologists because these singles may not remain single forever. However, the typical stable family of the Americans is still in existence, but those who consider themselves the elite, alongside the concept of inequality, are not in touch with it.
The change of roles in the society has more than quadrupled in the past. The place of women in the society has transformed completely, as the author observes. The consideration by women, about getting a baby in a formal marriage is no longer the norm. Natalie reports that research shows that more than 40% of American women get children before they are married. Things have continued to change with the rate of cohabiting couples increasing to 170% from 1996 to the year 2012. The place of the woman of being a housewife has been forgotten. It is no longer to find that, in a family, the woman is the breadwinner and the man stays at home looking after the children. However, the ideal marriage nowadays is viewed as one I which both the husband and the wife work and share the burden of life including raising the children.
This article by Natalie Angier is a scientific article with proven facts. Natalie interviewed professors of philosophy and psychology in different universities. The article well elaborates the situation of the current American family and the changes it has undergone. The article is recommendable for high level sociological studies.
Natalie, A. (2013, November 26). The changing American family. The New York Times.