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Reading response - Essay Example

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Nuclear Family: Transformations in the Modern Society Transformations in the nuclear family are obvious in the modern American society. Although many factors can be considered to be impacting the changes, I believe that industrialization has a lot to do with the way the nuclear family evolved through the years…
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Download file to see previous pages... In particular, Coontz (1999) says that families today differ from those in the 1950s. She claims that although men still do less housework than women, they have improved by being more involved in childcare than fathers in the past. However, in Jackson and Scott (2002), the article, “Marriage and Intimate Relationships” states that gender inequalities still pervade even the most intimate relationships. The idea of gender inequality in terms of marital responsibilities can be rooted out in our cultural and economic history. I believe that one thing affected the way women do their role in the nuclear family: industrialization. It was not long ago since I first encountered the Communist Manifesto by Marx & Engels (2005). By reading the Manifesto, I learned that in the process of industrialization, people become alienated to their work. As Lyles & Lyles (2003) argue, capitalism has changed the family structure in a number of ways. Traditionally, the mother stayed at home and attended to the children while the father worked. As years passed, women felt the need to work in order to supplement what the father was earning. As Marx & Engels (2005) claim, “The more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class.” Women are forced to work in order to help provide the needs of the family. On one hand, Marx and Engels’s claim is true that women’s labour supersede that of men because they are the ones who experience the hunger that the children suffer from when there is no food on the table. On the other, they are forced to work because not all women are married or have someone they could rely on. Also, according to Marx & Engels, industrialization increases the need of people for commercial products. People have less time to make their food, thus they buy instant products (e.g. coffee, noodles, canned food), and before we know it, everything is just one click away. The move towards industrialization thus changes the life of every individual. People are always on the rush for making money. Within the nuclear family, parents hire a babysitter to attend to the little children then work hard all day in order to provide even their basic necessities. Sometimes, couples become rivals in making money. The more one earns, the better. This gave way to the empowerment of women. As years passed, women saw their worth in the management of the family’s finances to the extent that they put behind their main role, that is, to care for the children. Healy (2009) points out that the practice of nuclear families contributes to the growth of industrialization and capitalism. Indeed, with the continuous strife against hunger, nuclear families remain as constant elements to capitalism. The truth about family struggles leads to the view that while traditional behaviours and settings exist, non-traditional realities are likewise growing. In Cantor’s (1999) article about the Simpsons, he enumerates the traditional and non-traditional themes and portrayals. Mainly, the traditional role of the parent in providing protection and the physical needs of their children can be seen in Homer Simpson. As Cantor (1999) notes, his efforts to earn extra income at Kwik E-Mart just to get Lisa a pony show that he has the potential to be a good provider, as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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