Traditional Families: Fact or Fiction.
Family is defined by those who live it and does not always consists of a husband, wife, and children and all family units are directly influenced by historical, social, and economic expectations. Today's families can be same-sex couples, groups of related or unrelated people, or any group of people that have a common bond. Because of this I could not agree with the author's viewpoint from the book, The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families (Coontz, 1997), that today's families are loosing their identity because of convoluted roles and responsibilities. I was raised in a household where my mother did not work outside the home and my father was the sole provider. Although this was the socially accepted norm of the time my family suffered both socially and economically because of honoring tradition. In contrast I have chosen to work outside the home to help provide my family a stable economic future, social acceptance, and personal satisfaction. .
Historically traditional American families consisted of a husband, wife, and possibly children where everyone understood their roles within the family. It was expected that men were to have careers outside of the home and were to be the "breadwinners". They were to make all economic decisions without opposition or opinions from their wives. The lady of the house was expected to support their husband's career choice, bear and raise children, maintain the house, and devote their lives to nurturing the physical and emotional needs of the family. In the past, these roles were easily accepted by society and were clearly defined. However, over time changing social choices influenced how women directly interacted within the historical framework of the traditional family. Women wanted to seek higher education, an identity outside of the home, earn a wage, and participate in their own social interactions.