Current nuclear family. Unlike the circumstances today, people

Current circumstances in today’s society does not provide the necessary materials to build a nuclear family. Unlike the circumstances today, people in the 50’s had much more meaningful necessities to build a nuclear family such as a: powerful economy, culture, class difference, politicians, and television. The change in social culture and social class over time has shifted the mindsets of most Americans about having a nuclear family. With the constant changes in social culture and social class, it is no wonder why so many Americans today find it undesirable to have a nuclear family.
Politicians today are playing a double standard when they push people to apply the nuclear family standard but at the same time they are not doing much to develop the economy to support the people. In the 50’s, a majority of the people were able to afford new medium sized houses unlike now. People were getting paid very well to the point where an average 30 year old man was able to afford a brand new house based on 15% -18% of his salary. This really made having a nuclear family ideal to many people. The 1950’s was the first time that a majority of Americans began to dream of creating a secure family oasis. Family life became much more attractable and settled in the 1950’s than it ever was in the decade prior and post the 1950’s. When looking at the cost of houses today in California, it is no surprise that many people are not attracted to having a nuclear family. Many Americans must save at least 20% as a downpayment to purchase a home. For many, this takes a huge toll, especially for those who already have families. With the increasing amount of Americans living below the poverty line, the government is not really offering Americans the opportunity for having a nuclear family. By 1960, a majority of the population became apart of the middle class. The government’s investment during the 50’s encouraged and rewarded people for increasing investment in their homes and education. The federal government was regularly mandating raises in the minimum wage to keep the pace with inflation, which helped push many people above the poverty line. Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, and unemployment benefits for the poor has slowly decreased over time, resulting in a higher amount of Americans living below the poverty line. There is definitely a much bigger pool of programs that the government could be offering to Americans to help decrease that number. As a result of this, many parents have to work full time jobs in order to remain financially stable. However, this does lead to spending less time with their kids. When times get rough amongst the parents, the kids are the first ones to suffer. Many kids today go through various psychological issues as a result of families being drawn apart. If the financial burden on the parents was the same as during the 50’s that issue would not be a major concern today.
With the boom of television’s in the 50’s, many Americans sought advice through the television. The rapid increase of social media platforms today has a huge impact on how many of the younger generation seek information or advice. Back in the 50’s, everything available on the television was televised through networks. Today, almost anyone can televise or spread information across social media without any censoring or proof of reliability. When I look around the younger generation today, most of them take what they learn from the internet and tv and apply it to their everyday lives without understanding the meaning behind it. The limitless addiction that the younger generation has towards social media is a major aspect on why many don’t find nuclear families desirable anymore.
On the other hand women in the 50’s couldn’t work or have a credit card. Women had a difficult time trying to stay in their current jobs after the war, so many became stay at home mothers. In order to support the family, they had to show support for their husbands by staying at home to raise the children. Despite the norms that encouraged women to stay at home and become stay at home mothers, approximately 40% chose to remain in the workforce. As Stephany Coontz said in What We Miss About the 1950’s, “We now know that 1950s family culture was not only non traditional; it was also not idyllic. In important ways, the stability of and community life during the 1950s rested on pervasive discrimination against women, gays, political, dissidents, non-Christians, and racial or ethnic minorities”(pg.37). Even though the fight for women’s rights was on the rise, those rights wouldn’t be granted until many years later. This norm of women staying at home, really gave the average American family the opportunity to have a nuclear family. Financial stability would come from the father and the family stability would come from the mother to create a nuclear family.
The economy in the 50’s provided great programs and funding to the people, that’s why marriage, education, and birth rates were at very high point. This created endless opportunities for many Americans at that time unlike now. Education today has become more of a business than a reward for those attending or planning to attend college or university. In the 50’s, the average person was able to attend a university for less than $1000. Compare that value to today’s average cost of attendance at $40,000. With an affordable education, high paying jobs, and a stable financial situation, the marriage rate increased while divorce rates decreased. Birth rates were on the rise and as a result the idea of nuclear families spread amongst many Americans.
Looking back at the 1950’s I can understand why many Americans during the 1950’s desired to have a nuclear family. The government’s role in creating a powerful economy as well as rewarding those with an education and homeowners, really relieved some of the major concerns Americans face today to have a nuclear family. The vast increase in the cost of living today has shown to be a huge aspect for many Americans to not desire a nuclear family. With the growing cuts in assistance programs by the government, it is no wonder why many people today are finding it difficult to even try and have a family. The financial burden that many Americans face today is a major hurdle that prevents them from having a nuclear family. The rapid rise and popularity of social media has led to many of the younger generation to think and act in certain ways. This leads to many of the younger generation becoming more distant from their families in search of what they view as fun or important. The ever growing list of women’s rights has also impacted the ideology of having a nuclear family. Whereas the societal norm back in the 50’s was to be a stay at home mother, today women have the same rights as men do. As a result, women have much more freedom in the workforce, which has expanded their opportunities outside the home. Lastly, the cost of education back in the 50’s was much cheaper than it is today. Today the cost for attending a university has never been higher and as a result has put another financial burden and hurdle on families to consider even having a nuclear family. With major burdens being put on all family members, it is spreading everyone very thin. The consensus seems to be that everyone just needs to pull their weight to get by and being a family can come later in time. Coontz reveals that “Commentators are being misleading when they claim that the 1950s was the golden age of the Americans families” (pg.38). That being said, with the trajectory that we are heading in, it does not seem that the opportunity for having a nuclear family will ever be something desirable again.

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