Last Updated 14 Oct 2020

Social Problems Of The Institution Of Family

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The family is a social institution that has been underestimated and placed in a box for generations. In America, television and media has portrayed the “typical” family to be a Caucasian bread winning father, homemaker wife, and there 2 kids all living under one roof. But according to Eitzner’s book “Social Problems”, the actualization of how a family looks under one roof is based on economic conditions, and the typical family portrait never applied to immigrants and racial minorities because these people were denied equal opportunities to earn a family wage, and denied support of such grants as the GI Bill.

Extended families as well as extended households grew in the light of immigration and socioeconomic reform. Now there is no longer a single culturally dominant family pattern. The idea of family has to be reconstituted frequently to relate to ever changing personal and occupational circumstances. Some of the social problems that the family institution is dealing with are gay marriages, multi-generational households, and teenage pregnancy. In this essay, I will briefly discuss each problem, but also I will develop a program for change.

The collective variety of the family in the U. S. has led researchers to study if and how different family systems are linked with different groups of people who then may experience different results. Research has found that not all racial groups participate in each family type equally, thus not all family forms are equally available to all people Intellectuals have also found that each type of family (e. g. , married with kids, married with no kids, single-parent with young children, etc. ) is associated with different economic, child, and health outcomes.

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This may be a stereotype but researchers say that children who grow up with only one of their parents "are more likely to drop out of high school, to become teenage and single mothers, and to have trouble finding and keeping a steady job in young adulthood, even after adjusting for differences in parents' socioeconomic background (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). I will now discuss each of my topics further. Gay marriage is a hot topic right now in America because there are a lot of states deciding whether to legalize homosexual marriages.

The debate over legalizing gay marriages is to do with religion; it's against everything that it says about marriage in the Bible. But it also goes against everything that we are familiar with when it comes to marriage (husband and bride). It is a hot debate as many already know, but, there are far worse things happening in the world today such as Catholic Priest molesting innocent children. The solution, in my opinion, is for gay people to be accorded all the civil rights and social benefits heterosexual people enjoy, without regard for popular sentiment or other people's religious beliefs.

The decline of the traditional family nucleus should only prove that option was only for a few. I have to admit that I come from that type of nucleus. My dad worked and my mom stayed home with me and my sister. Times were very different in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The economy to day is teaching families how to adjust to new trends and new ways of living. We should appreciate the new forms of family and community that are occurring. Since the onset of the financial crisis there has been an increase in the number of multi-generational families.

It’s the new normal. Younger adults live with their parents into their 30’s now and approximately 50 million Americans are in multigenerational households, that’s a 10% increase from 2007. Economic circumstances, as well as other cultural factors, have no doubt influenced families to start incorporating widowed grandparents, unemployed in-laws and adult children back into a common home. Life on life’s terms has incorporated the return of extended family formations. Another reason for extended families is the current epidemic of teenage pregnancies.

And while the teenage mother is affected by the circumstance, this issue affects the entire family. Issues of trust, financial stress, and decision making are all factors involved. Some research suggests that women who have children at an early age are no worse off than similar women who wait to have children. According to this research, many of the disadvantages set up for young mothers are related to their own lack of everything during upbringing. This research suggests that it would be unwise to relate all of the problems faced by teen mothers to their youth.

But the truth is that other research proves that teen mothers are less likely to finish high school, less likely to ever marry, and more likely to have additional children outside marriage. Thus, an early birth is not just a marker of preexisting problems but it may prove to be a barrier to successive upward mobility. I have seen success stories with teenage girls who choose to keep their children. But even if married, these women face much higher rates of poverty and dependence on government assistance than those decide to wait.

And early marriages are much more likely to end in divorce. So marriage, while it may be helpful in establishing the family nucleus that is so longed for in Western civilization, is no verified solution. Now I would like to discuss my idea on a program for change in the family. Social inequality will continue to exist without bold action. We need to empower families to take charge of their lives and shift perception of people to understand that families that come from an unconventional family nucleus are still valued citizens.

Government, business, community, education are all sectors that can benefit from an improvement in circumstance of the institution of family. What is needed is a re-invigoration of the “family movement” to works towards building stronger, more inclusive communities. Remember that united we stand, and divided we fall. One major setback for America is the division in every aspect, be it race, social class, gender. I don’t want to say I am a communist, but I do understand how a communist society may be the best to incorporate equality for all.

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