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Families - Essay Example

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The core challenges of all families in America are the same: to live together in a mutually supportive unit that allows each member to develop and express him or herself in a constructive and positive environment. The family unit is so common because it is a convenient economic…
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Families
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Download file to see previous pages Whereas fifty years ago divorce was rare, and homosexuality invisible, nowadays these features are common in society. If individuals want to create their own type of family according to their own values and ideals, then there is an opportunity to explore this in new ways. There is conflict between restrictive but stable traditional models, and freer but potentially less stable modern alternatives.
Immigrant families have the benefit of at least two cultural heritages, and this enriches their life experience. It can also cause tensions when adapting to new contexts and sometimes clashes with expectations of the culture of origin. Often children feel caught between the old and the new, and it takes generations for families to be fully at ease in both cultures. Another advantage of immigrant families is that people often have the opportunity to speak more than one language. This has useful career implications but above all it enables people to see the world more openly and be accepting of differences without judging one or the other. White American families who only speak English are at a disadvantage because they are tempted to hold narrow views, and find it harder to think in concepts outside their own ethnic group norms.
Latinos, African Americans, Asians and other minority groups in America can suffer prejudice and misunderstanding which adds stress to their lives. Families who find themselves victims of racism will stick together more closely, but there are disadvantages in accessing full citizenship benefits if resentment builds up inside the family and opportunities are blocked in society outside the family. This can be a vicious circle which is hard to break. Similar scenarios can develop within gay and lesbian families.
Multi-generational families are the norm in some societies, notably African and Asian ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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