Postmodern American Family

1133 Words5 Pages
Research Question:
What role does technology play on kinship ties in postmodern North American society?
Thesis Statement:
In the postmodern era technologies of social saturation render the ties of kinship less significant than they were in the postmodern era.
The modernization of North America has changed the make of family lessening the significance of the ties of kinship. According to Zeitlin, the theory of the postmodern family is based on the concept of changing gender roles as there is no longer a need for a distinction between the genders. Men are no longer hunters, women are no longer dedicated to domestic labour and childbearing. It is because of technological advancements the differences between the genders are less
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It is the departure from modernism, and is distinctly the attitude defined by a distrust to higher power and the movement past the progression into modernization. This change occurred mid to late twentieth century. It a common opinion amongst anthropologists and sociologists at the beginning of the nineteenth century, that non-nuclear families such as single-parent, surrogate mother, gay and lesbian families, are negative results of postmodernism. This postmodern family is called pluralistic or permeable by anthropologists.(Zeitlin: 1995: 10) The postmodern world is shaped by new freedoms and the creation of larger social circles through newfound forms of communication. Newfound technologies caused indirect social contact to be intensive which caused family disorder and turmoil. These technologies make physical togetherness less important for family members. The home has become a warzone, because people of different generations have vastly different ideologies, especially children born into a world where all these technologies were always present. Postmodern children have a lot of exposure to adult themes at a young age through TV and the internet, which in the past never existed and is difficult to control. This is causing social issues in these children, especially since child rearing is split into two different environments. Children from a young age are taught self-centred…show more content…
The telephone completely alters the the nature of social interactions. It can be described as a lifeline to the outside world or a device that can cause isolation. The placement of information and technological devices within the home alters the domestic environment. The interaction between these devices and the inhabitants show that having these devices causes an impact on the people within the home, influencing their habits and values. These devices become important to the daily lives of the inhabitants, and cause new social networks which form relationships outside the family. It is difficult to maintain both external and internal relations so families struggle to make time for each other, and when they do spend time together it may involve use of these devices which isn’t really a social connection at all. In communities with little chance of casual encounters providing people with this technology causes isolation from society outside of screens. This is directly related to the belief that humans are becoming more antisocial which as a family would have a negative effect on interpersonal interactions. (Strathern 2005:
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