mariage myths - Critique of Debunking Myths about Marriages...

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Critique of “Debunking Myths about Marriages and Families” The article, "Debunking Myths about Marriages and Families" was written by Mary Ann Schwartz and BarBara Marliene Scott. Both women have achieved their Doctorates in Sociology and are professors of Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University, where Marriages and Families are one of their favorite research and teaching subjects. In this piece they challenge some common "myths" of marriages and question whether it’s time that our generation learns to look past these generalizations and stereotypes. I agree that it’s time to change our perceptions of what a functional and successful family is. First the authors explore the accepted definition of a "traditional family" which they state to have the following characteristics: familial respect, care for elderly family members, mothers handling domestic responsibilities, fathers economically supporting the family, and children being "seen but not heard" (Schwartz and Scott 276). From my experience I’ve seen very few families that currently carry one of those characteristics, let alone all of them, but we still hold this as a valid perception of a traditional family. This unrealistic perception can either be harmful when the myth is so far-fetched that a real family would be unable to achieve it, or help a family by giving them something in which to aspire. Schwartz and Scott continue by asserting that white middle-class men were most likely the culprits who propagated these myths through their primary control of the mass media. They projected their perceptions of a traditional family on viewers and readers nationwide. The first myth outlined in this article is that of "The Universal Nuclear Family." This is described as a family requiring a child’s biological mother and father to be betrothed prior to conception and remain married and occupy the same living space for the course of their lives.
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Schwartz and Scott argue that families are diverse and there is not a single description of a perfect family. The second myth is of "The Self-Reliant Traditional Family." This states that past families did not accept help from anyone outside their relations. The authors give light to the fact that government assistance programs have been set up for a reason, and families have taken advantage of them throughout history. The third myth is of "The Naturalness of Different
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2009 for the course ENGL 101C taught by Professor Stewart during the Fall '07 term at Northampton Community College.

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mariage myths - Critique of Debunking Myths about Marriages...

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