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What are the comparisons of today's family structure to the families of the 60's? the make-up of how the family of today is different

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ophelious eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Keep in mind that when discussing this topic there is no "universal" truth.  There are plenty of exceptions to the generalizations, but there are also some overall themes to how we perceive families to be now and how we saw them back in the day.  Some of it is perception and some of it is real.

The biggest change between how we view families today and how they were viewed in the 50's and 60's is in our very definition of family. Back then, the ideal image was a family clearly headed by a man who was married to a woman.  The man worked while the woman stayed at home.  He made the decisions about money and had the final word on most things, while the woman was expected to be the "homemaker."  People who were married tended to stay married, even if life together was unpleasant.

Now we have more single parent households.  Remarried parents are much more common (think of the Brady Bunch...both parents were remarried, but only because their former spouses had died.)  Interracial...

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In the early 1960s, the wife and husband occupied traditional gender roles as other and father, respectively. The father was the breadwinner and the mother was responsible for maintaining the household and rearing the children. Beginning in the late 1960s, there was a movement towards womens’ liberation, and marriage rates decreased in the late 1960s and then into the 1970s. However, in today's society, these expectations of womens’ behavior have deteriorated, as more women are joining the workforces. Women are spending more time outside the home and pursuing careers, in addition to raising families.