Traditionally, from the beginning of time, humans have always raised families as a unit, with each individual contributing towards the family to help in any way possible. Family was considered the foundation of living and a permanent support system that you can always rely on, to the extent that those seen living without family were questioned and evidence of this is still present today in some cultural practices (such as arranged marriages). With the shift in the composition of society, people are looking towards a more individualistic life style, moving away from their families, divorcing their spouses to live alone, or choosing not to get married. A familial support system has shifted from a given to a disposable feature, where people would be willing to trade it in for individual goals. Billy Elliot is a movie based in the 1980's where we see a typical English family transitioning from traditional family views to modern family views. This marginal contrast between family values is portrayed through Billy and his father (Jackie Elliot) and how they both handle the issue that they are faced with. .
Family has always played a big role in the lives and development of an individual and developing from a collectivist state is what is considered traditional to many. Living the traditional American dream, to some, entails embracing this collectivistic state and becoming a part of a larger family unit. Traditionally, the American dream can be seen as raising and embracing your family, being permanently apart of a system that cares for and helps one another and valuing the people who share your last name. The value of family has, however, shifted from generation to generation, from collective to its current individualistic state. Billy Elliot is a clear representation of the deviation of traditional family values of the American Dream and the current generation gap in between traditional and current family values, familial hierarchy and gender roles with in a household.