What are the social issues in the story Family Man by Calvin Trillin that are related to our society nowadays?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Most of the social issues that arise from Trillin's collection of stories revolves around the collision between tradition and modernity.   Trillin writes with a perspective that is "nostalgically defiant" about traditional values, such as Thanksgiving Dinners, raising children, attending school plays, or working with diapers.  The social issues that arise from such a conception is that these traditionalist notions of family might prompt roles that are traditionally bound.  For example, when Trillin writes about the importance of attending the first afternoon of a school play, this is seen as a role that women might have to embrace more quickly than men.  Even if one argued that the man of the house attends, such a role stipulates that one parent be a "full time parent."  This designation challenges the modern conception of family that indicates two working parents are needed for financial viability.  Additionally, one wonders what the role of information technology and social networking plays in Trillin's conception of family.  The visions of domestic life rendered in his work do not fully account for the modern onslaught of social communication and technological advances that are an integral part of most adult, and certainly virtually all, children's lives.  A social issue that might arise would be how to integrate this aspect into the notion of family and community evoked out of Trillin's work.

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Family Man

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