American Family Relationships: Dynamics Alterations Essay
Introduction Family Values and Their Gradual Change
The American family institution has undergone impressive changes over the past few decades. The technological breakthrough that has been witnessed on the specified time slot has affected how people interact and, thus, build their family relationships. How modern relationships develop is strikingly different from the one that was viewed as a norm several decades ago. Even though some of the current tendencies might seem troubling, however, they need to be regarded as the product of their time. When placed in the context, some of the alterations such as the propensity toward a more elaborate approach toward marriage and family life, are entirely legitimate, whereas others, such as the tendency to restrict face-to-face interactions because of the exposure to modern media, need to be addressed.
Current Tendencies and the Factors That Define Them
The vast and rapid rise in the levels of diversity, by which contemporary American society is defined, has affected American families significantly. Particularly, there has been a strong propensity toward multicultural families and interracial marriages, according to the study conducted by Livingston and Brown (11). The specified trend can be regarded as very positive since it signifies people’s willingness to overcome cultural stereotypes and prejudices to engage in cross-cultural relationships. The fact that young people tend to be more dependent on their parents and have their families at an older age than the previous generations should also be listed among the key changes (Fry).
Meaning of Changes: Families Gradually Shrinking
The identified shift in the values and behaviors of young people has affected the structure of a modern American family to a certain extent (“Child Trends/Databank Indicator/Families and Parenting”). Particularly, the fact that people start families only after they have a career indicates that modern young adults tend to be more careful in their evaluation of their opportunities (“Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families”). Thus, contemporary young people can be defined as quite reasonable in their decision to focus on building a career and building a system of financial resources on which they will be able to rely in the future to support their family (Livingston and Brown 12).
On the other hand, the fact that young people stay with their parents for a significantly larger amount of time than the generations preceding them shows that there has been a drop in responsibility levels. As a result, the modern American family is becoming increasingly older and significantly less numerous as far as the number of children is concerned (“Parenting in America”). Divorce rates have also grown significantly (Cohen 539). While family ties may remain strong, they are fewer than they used to be (Fry).
Nevertheless, it can be argued that the observed changes are representative of the new environment in which American families are built. Without reflecting modern realities, families would become very vulnerable to external factors such as financial pressures, social issues, etc. Therefore, the increase in the average family age and a drop in the number of its members indicates the growing resilience of American families (Fry).
Conclusion: A Contemporary American Family
Although the relationships between young Americans nowadays are strikingly different from the ones that could be observed several decades prior, some of the trends such as the willingness to consider all aspects of marriage and the relevant issues careful can redeem as a positive change, whereas the loss of independence and the associated alterations need to be managed accordingly. The shift in the family value and relationships within the modern American community can be explained by the societal alterations and especially the emergence of new media. The associated social, economic, and financial challenges make young people rethink some of the choices that seemed obvious solutions to previous generations. Being part and parcel of progress, the identified tendency, nevertheless, needs to be explored and addressed when affecting people’s lives negatively. Thus, it would be wrong to claim that the American family is deteriorating; instead, it explores new opportunities and adjusts to changes in the global society respectively.
“Child Trends/Databank Indicator/Families and Parenting.” Child Trends Databank. Web.
Cohen, Philip N. The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change. W. W. Norton, 2014.
“Decline of Marriage and Rise of New Families.” Pew Research Center, 2010. Web.
Fry, Richard. “For First Time in Modern Era, Living with Parents Edges out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds.” PewSocialTrends.org, 2017. Web.
Livingston, Gretchen, and Anna Brown. Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia. Web.
“Parenting in America: Outlook, Worries, Aspirations Are Strongly Linked to Financial Situation.” Pew Research Center, 2015. Web.