Nuclear Family: Reality or Fiction?.
In; "What We Really Miss About the 1950's"; Stephanie Coontz states that the fundamental nostalgic idea that we miss is the notion of the traditional nuclear family and all of the values that came along with it. Yes; the Cleaver's and the Nelson's had what we pictured as the perfect American family; but was fiction based on fact or was fact based on fiction? In my opinion Americans based fiction on fact and other more alternative family settings were the norm; thus families had to grow and change to fit the traditional family mold. Contrary to Stephanie Coontz's beliefs a variety of other authors disagree with the idea of the nuclear family being the traditional American family; one being Roger Jack and his narrative; " An Indian Story" and another being with his reading " Looking For work.".
With America's exuberance over winning World War II all but disappeared and the harsh realities of what life was really like in the United States; Americans needed something to not only to rally behind but also believe in. For this we turned to creators of television and movies to help us find a new meaning and mission statement for the American public. Thus the creation of ideal American family was formed in the scripts of Hollywood and portrayed by actors and actresses. This family contained a mother and father, Sister and brother, and the family pet. The family's home was usually placed in one of the newly developed suburban settings far enough away from any city to shield it from the common misfortunes of the time such as poverty, crime, and domestic violence. Families with names such as the Cleaver's and the Nelson's gave the everyday American family something to work towards becoming. .
The manufactured concept of the nuclear family became such a strong presence in American culture that a great majority of families made great changes in both their day- to-day lives and their inherited culture practices; to begin living the American fallacy of the nuclear family.