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The idea of progress : How have changes in American society affected family life ?

Dissertation : The idea of progress : How have changes in American society affected family life ?. Recherche parmi 296 000+ dissertations

Par   •  25 Mars 2020  •  Dissertation  •  644 Mots (3 Pages)  •  701 Vues

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So today i am going to talk about the idea of progress. Progress is an idea that can be defined as a change, a development or even an improvement in anything and often contributes in making the world a better place . To illustrate this notion i will try to explain how have changes in American society affected family life. That is why we are going to see what where the different family structures that have been constantly changing through the 20th century.

The great depression which occured in the 30’s led many American familys to delay their marriage or their wish of having childrens because of the lack of money. The unemployment was rising to such an extent that some families had to adjust their economic decrease by putting at work the whole family. Many children took part-time jobs in the same way as many wives had to supplement the family income. Women found work as secretaries, teachers, telephone operators and nurses. But in many cases, employers paid women workers less than their male counterparts. Marriages became strained, though many couples could not afford to separate. Divorce rates dropped a lot during the 1930s.

Then came the world war II and the families had to encounter new issues, millions of married couples lived apart. The first major impact was felt with the lack of labor when the men went off to war. More and more women now entered the work force. Once reserved for men, women now took up jobs in industry many women were now working full time and yet were still trying to maintain their home life. They wanted to help and everyone felt constrained. Families were torn apart but had to stay strong. It could be illustrated by the poster “She’s a Wow” studied in class where we can see a woman with tools in her hands, looking at a man, probably her husband going to war.

After the war, family life changed a lot, Marriages occurred at younger ages and in greater numbers than in earlier generations.The result was maybe one of the most significant social phenomenon of the century the baby boom. Families had more money moved into better suburbs they were happy again. And from that was born the traditional family that we know with the father as breadwinner, the mother as homemaker, and three or more children completing the household. A traditional family that is well described by the painting of Norman Rockwell “Freedom from want” in 1943 where we see this image of a family gathering around a turkey, certainly during thanxgiving. In this painting everyone looks happy the colours are bright. But despite all this joy and the smiles it was a real period of domestic containment where housewives gave up their career to take care of take care of their child and the House. They had to gave up their aspirations and felt frustated. That is what led well known “tradional family” to a whole new period.

A period which started around 60s and kept improving in good, where women fought for their emancipation by the will of going against what the older generation went through. women became more financially independent and challenged traditional notion like Lynsey Addario, who was a photojournalist who focused on conflicts and human right issues, she photographed iraq war in bagdad for the NY times, covered conflicts in Afghanistan, iraq. I personally think that figures like her shows how family structures have been constantly changing trhough time. It evolved from a


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