Marriage By Stephanie Coontz : Family Model Essay

1415 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
In her book Marriage a History Stephanie Coontz explains the male breadwinner family model and its dominance in family life during the 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s. An illustration of the male breadwinner model is composed of a father, mother, and two children; typically a boy and girl close in age. Funded by their father’s well paying middle class salary, the wife and children live a comfortable life in suburbia and participate regularly in consumer trends. Perceived as the head of the household, the father was the sole financial provider. On the other hand the mother was the head of domestic life and was responsible for the children. The popular 1950’s TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet exemplified this family model. With regard to the male breadwinner family model, imagine having eight other brothers and sisters. Imagine growing up without a mother, and with a father who worked constantly. Then consider living this life alongside your peers who come from the “normal” male breadwinner families Coontz describes… How would your family differ from your peers? What would be your thoughts and feelings towards family life? More importantly, how would these unique circumstances change your perception of the nuclear family? This unique set of circumstances applied to Christopher Elliott. Born and raised in Miller Place, New York in 1960’s and 1970’s, Chris is the seventh of nine children. His mother died when he was eight, leaving his oldest siblings to raise him…
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