socio 175- Exam 1 - Dr. Leisenring SOCI 175 3/3/2009 Exam...

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Dr. Leisenring SOCI 175 3/3/2009 Exam #1 “Only a minority of people now live in what might be called the standard 1950's family” (Anthony Giddens, Family in Transition, p. 28). To understand the changes that occurred between now and the 1950s, we have to first look at why we compare ourselves today to that time. The middle part of the 20 th century brought about the golden age of the traditional family. No longer was marriage seen as an institution where males completely controlled the start of the relationship to the finished product. Dates and eventual romantic love replaced economic means as the basis for most marriages during this era. Men were considered the bread winners and wives were the house makers. Houses were much more affordable for a a single wage family and two kids were usually the norm. This simple way of living has transformed drastically in the last several decades. First of all, men and women in America are living much longer than they did a hundred or even fifty years ago. This causes increases in the number of empty nesters, and with the baby boom of the mid 20 th century, it also causes the increase in the elderly altogether. “Ninety percent of all the households in the country were families in the 1950s, in comparison with only 71 percent by 1990” (Coontz, What we Really Miss About the 1950s). Now in the year 2009, that percentage has most likely declined even more, especially with the continuous trend of different family and living arrangements. Another dramatic statistical change from the 1950s is the age that women marry at, “two thirds of women aged 20 to 24 were not yet married in 1990, only 28 percent of women this age were still single in 1960”(Coontz). To go along with this is the increase in a women's age before having kids and when they finish having kids.
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There are so many statistics that come to mind when comparing the family from now to the ones that existed in the 1950s. With that said, it is no easy task to say for certain which causes were responsible for particular effects. The increase in the divorce rate is definitely one of these statistics that gets its roots from a number of different reasons, the main one, is tough to point out. Reasons such as media influence, advancement of women, and less slanted views of independent bachelors, are all valuable arguments to this cause. Divorce rates soaring in the United States are a big reason for the increase in single parent families, with mothers being the bread winners in most cases. Ten or twenty years after the second world war, this type of family arrangement would have been unheard of and most likely looked down upon, and nowadays it is considered normal in many communities. Another group that is more outspoken, and out in the open in general, is that of the gay and
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course SOCI 175 at San Jose State University .

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socio 175- Exam 1 - Dr. Leisenring SOCI 175 3/3/2009 Exam...

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