Industrialization can be defined as the process by which societies become increasingly organized around the production of goods and technology by machines (WFT, p.498). This period of time was America's transformation from a rural agricultural economy to that of a more urban industrialized nation. Families went from the crop fields of their homes to the factories of employers to produce goods and services. With this drastic change called industrialization, came the change of the role of the community in family life. This change many years ago in the working environment effects how families live their lives today.
The role of the community in family life before industrialization was that of a family-based economy. Families in the pre-industrialization era supported themselves within the household. Each family was a self-contained economic enterprise, with everybody in the household working together to produce a product (WTF, p. 94). Although the man was the dominant figure in the family, being married was a partnership economically, based on love and work. During this time women did the traditional tasks in the homes such as having and raising children. Some wives worked in hazardous working environments. As for the children, during the family based economy era children were apprentices to their parents, doing the little jobs around the house. The role before industrialization was drastically different of the role during and after industrialization.
The role of the community in family life after industrialization was that of a family-wage economy. A family-wage economy can be defined as family members making a living by earning wages working outside the home, producing goods and services for employers (WTF, p.497). During industrial capitalism goods were produced in factories. The labor was not done together as a family like the pre-industrial era. Men and Women worked separately to earn wages.