An American Family

2025 WordsApr 14, 20159 Pages
Mr. Cleaver comes home from a long day at work to his loving wife. He enjoys a nice home cooked meal as he talks with his two children at the dinner table—often about the troubles Beav has found his way into—in the sitcom Leave it to Beaver. A show that aired in the late 50’s teaching life lessons to its viewers and most importantly representing the ideal nuclear family. Needless to say, we have come a long way from the white picket fence and 2.5 children as the model representation of an American family. Today, families are modeled in all different shapes and sizes. Two parent, single parent, multiple parents, or even extended family members can be seen raising the children. These families have developed over the past 60 years due to many reasons. The societal changes occurring over time and economical effects on both micro and macro levels, and the evolution of gender roles along with many other causes have all played a role in developing the family. By the 1990’s, the census reported that only about 21% of married couples lived with their children. (Morgan 1996) In 40 years, the ideal nuclear family had dropped to 21%, and due to the rise in divorce rates during the 80’s, the percentage of stepchildren was projected to rise to 33%. (Morgan 1996) Now decades later, stepfamilies do indeed make up 1/3 of American households. With the growing changes in families and the people that make up families, many new concerns are being developed about the legal rights and
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