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Social Institution5 - children gain a sense of belonging to...

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Social Institutions Divorce and Remarriage Once taboo, divorce is now common in the United States. Many factors have contributed to the tenfold increase in the U.S. divorce rate over the past century. Women have become less economically dependent on men, which means they are now able to leave unhappy marriages and support themselves. Legal standards have also relaxed, making divorce easier to obtain. Because the divorce rate is so high, so is the rate of remarriage. U.S. society is still coming to terms with the ramifications of blended families, those composed of children and parents from both present and past marriages. Child-Rearing Rearing children is a primary function of a family. Being in a family provides children with a sense of identity. They learn the norms and values of their societies, as well as the norms and values of the smaller groups to which they belong. By learning about their cultural heritages,
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Unformatted text preview: children gain a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. By teaching children about their heritage, families insure their culture will live on. Despite the many demands of child-rearing, most adults describe raising children as an important and fulfilling duty. Nevertheless, the number of children in the households of industrialized countries has been dwindling for generations. Economic pressures have led the average U.S. family to have only one or two children. Because both parents must often work outside the home to support the family, parents and children spend less and less time together. Alternative Families Not all families are centered on a married couple with children. To an increasing degree, U.S. households feature alternative types of families, such as the following: • Single-parent household • Cohabitating, unmarried couples • Gay and lesbian couples • Single adults...
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