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Changes to the American Family and Marriage

Why is the family considered the most important agent of socialization?
What caused the dramatic changes to the American family? What are those changes?
Describe the differences in marriage and family life that are linked to class, race, gender, and personal choice.
Do you feel the trend towards diverse families is positive or negative?
If the trend changed towards traditional (pre-World War II) families, how would that affect women's rights?

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Why is the family considered the most important agent of socialization?

The family teaches you the basic lessons of life that you need to survive. Examples of this is hygiene, eating, and even understanding your role in the family and the appropriate behaviour(s) associated with that role.

As infants, there is complete dependence on others to survive. This is usually the responsibility of the family. The family unit can be a traditional unit, i.e. mother, father, sister, brother, or a non-traditional unit, i.e. aunt, uncle, grandmother, cousin, etc.

Our families not only teach us how to care for ourselves and function in society, they also teach us about how relationships are structured especially close relationships, how to function in groups, and how to share, i.e. sharing resources.

Families also provide us with our first system of values, norms, and beliefs akin to social status or class, ethnicity, religion, and others.

What caused the dramatic changes to the American family? What are those changes?

Since the 1960s, it has been noted that ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in understanding the changes in the American family structures and marriage.

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