Weakeningof the Family
Weakeningof the Family
Familyis one of the social units that serves as an intermediate between thesociety and an individual. Since 1960s, families have weakenedsignificantly, which have reduced the family to play its function ofcreating viable and virtuous members of the society (Schwarz,2011). Inthis context, family is defined by the existence of blood relations,adoption, marital status, or other forms of mutual agreements.
Family,as an institution has undergone several changes since 1960. First,the role of women as housewives started changing in the 1960s andthey have been taking part in professional career (Schwarz,2011). Thisresulted in the establishment of double income social institutions orfamilies. The primary cause of this change has been the increase ineconomic hardships as indicated by the high cost of living. Secondly,people are now taking longer to get married and the few who enterinto marriage get a few children. The long time that is required topursue professional career is the major cause of the delayedmarriage. The idea of getting a few of no children is grounded on theperception that a large family is an extra financial burden and asource of discrimination against women at work place (Trent,2014). Theincrease in fathers’ participation in parenthood is one of thenovelties that the family institution has experienced since 1960s.However, this has been accompanied by the increase in the role of thesame-sex parents in child rearing.
Itis evident that families are becoming weaker over time. There are twofacts supporting the idea of continued weakening of families. First,a decline in the stability of the relationship has weakened familiesby reducing their capacity to produce valuable citizens who canlatter establish stable families. A study has shown that brokenmarriages and other forms of unstable relationships result indepression, substance abuse, and suicide among the family members,all of which weakens the family and dame the society(Rodríguez-Sedano, Costa-Paris & Aguilera, 2009). Therefore, theweakening of the family explains the increase in cases of substanceabuse, suicide, and other forms of crime in the modern society.Secondly, the number of single parents has been increasingexponentially within the last four decades. Research shows that thenumber of single parents is double the number of single parents 40years ago (Grady, 2013). Children who are brought up by a singleparent often fail to understand the role of the missing parent in afamily, which in turn reduces their capacity to become good parentswhen they grow up. This has resulted in further weakening of thefamily.
Thispaper offers two suggestions to strengthen the family in the UnitedStates. First, the economic success of the two parents is animportant determinant of stability in families. Consequently,ensuring parents have reliable sources of income (includingemployment or businesses) can strengthen families. Secondly, socialsupport services (such as guidance and counseling) can provide aviable means of resolving family disputes, which will in turn reducesthe rate of divorce and single parents.
Inconclusion, it is evident that families have been weakening overtime. The weakening of the family has mainly resulted from theincrease in the economic hardships and divorce. The two factorsdestabilize families, which reduces the capacity of children broughtup in unstable families to become better parents when they grow up.This leads to further weakening of families. However, these issuescan be addressed to enhancing the economic condition of parents andproviding them with reliable ways of resolving disputes.
Grady,S. (2013). Riseof the single-parent family.London: Northern and Shell Media Publication.
Rodríguez-Sedano,A., Costa-Paris, A. & Aguilera, J. (2009). The decline of thefamily as a source of social capital in the EU: Someindicators. EducationEducators,12(3), 161-177.
Schwarz,S. (2011). Weakening? A sociological look at family today 50 yearsago. Sunj’sRandom.Retrieved September 18, 2014, fromhttp://sternenfeeinflorida.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/have-families-weakened-a-sociological-look-at-families-today-and-50-years-ago/
Trent,L. (2014). Dochildren really cause financial burdens?New York: The Simple Dollar.