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Family Life Education - Assignment Example

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Family Education: New Paradigms [Name [ID [Date Family units in America are facing serious problems. The combination of economic changes, changes in relationships between men and women, and other social changes have made America have a very high rate of broken or dysfunctional families, and while some of that may be due to antiquated ideas of what families should do, it's still a problem that can be measured in the unhappiness of children…
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Family Life Education
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Family Life Education

Download file to see previous pages... Family education needs to begin by changing inequal and unfair family dynamics along gender lines, embracing alternate conceptions and providing people with the tools to manage conflicts. To be clear, I am not assuming that all families must be the same. Polygamous families with multiple wives or husbands, polyamorous couples with children who have open sexual relationships, gay families who adopt children, cohabitating couples that don't want to get married... moral or religious considerations aside, all of these family structures need support and protection. It's in no one's interests to have a broken family, no matter what kind of family it is. This is where family education and family therapy needs to start: Putting aside normative judgments about what families should do and instead give people goals to identify and solve their own problems. Like all good education and psychology, the Pygmalion effect has to be avoided: We can't change people into what they want; we can only help them be better at doing what they want. Allen and Baber (1992) argue that family education has to embrace feminist theory to work. They point out that many of the fundamental conflicts between people are informed by gender norms and patriarchy: “[F]eminist analyses reveal the detrimental and often devastating effects that traditional family roles, economic exploitation, and social inequalities have on women's health and general well-being” (Allen and Baber, 1992, p. 1). And it's not just women who suffer. Indirectly, patriarchy and gender inequality cause cascading effects: Women are unhappy and stressed, so they can't find satisfaction and happiness, so they pursue outside romance or affairs or divorce their husbands, which in turn harms children. Directly, patriarchy creates artificial and misguided assessments about the roles men, children and women should and do perform that never made much sense and make absolutely no sense now. The Leave It to Beaver model of an authoritarian father, supportive mother and obedient children is not the way most people choose to live their lives. Family educators thus need to be educated and trained to understand these kind of persistent inequalities, recognize them when they occur and deal with them. A great example is found in the second shift and in maternity leave (Hochschild, 2003; Wise, 2008). The second shift is when women have to work eight hours at work just like men. This is because the change in the economy has made it so people have to have two breadwinners to make ends meet. Ironically, feminist successes at getting women into careers didn't precipitate changes in underlying family structures and distributions of work: Instead, women work eight hours a day at a job then another eight hours a day at home, doing domestic work. It's true that men do pick up some of the slack, but never in a really consistent way according to Hochschild's (2003) research. Similarly, women get put into a “mommy track” not because they don't want to work but because it's impossible to imagine having their husbands take more time off work. “Unless the social structure supports shared sacrifice, sacrifice will end up being made by those with the least institutional power, irrespective of one’s personal desires” (Wise, 2008). In the United States, men don't receive paternity leave, so ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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