Topics for Further Study
Research the ways in which arguments over such topics as abortion (both pro-choice and anti-abortion movements) or anti-government militia groups such as the Montana Freemen and the Republic of Texas concern conflicts over the rights of individuals and the role the state should play in determining ethical decisions. How much should the state be involved in determining or restricting the rights of the individual? How much should the rights of individuals be asserted over the good of the state and community?
Research the differences between the concept of the nuclear family, consisting of two parents and their children, and the extended families of other cultures, in which grandparents and other relatives play important roles in the lives of family members.
In the breakdown of what is perceived to be a traditional American family—particularly families without father figures-many young people living in urban areas find nurture and support by joining gangs. Research the ways, both positive and negative, in which young people find family values by being loyal to a gang. Based on this research, what alternatives to gangs can be suggested for youths seeking some kind of familial relationship?
Research how organized crime "families" are structured and show the ways in which this structure is in conflict with political structures in America and the world.
Explore the family unit during the 19th century western expansion of the American frontier. How did the early explorers and settlers organize themselves? What type of family unit was most common, nuclear or extended?