Sample - 957 words essay topic, essay writing: Families
The importance of families has been espoused by all since the inception of modern times. Considered by most to be the backbone of America, it is how we socially and culturally indoctrinate our offspring so they are able to become a functional member of society. A lack of a full family is often cited as the reason that children end up as criminals or delinquents. The notion of family being the birthplace of problems is not even something most people could find feasible, which is what makes Barbara Ehrenreicht's essay "Are Families Dangerous?" seem a bit out in left field to most readers. But upon closer inspection and reflection into ones own family life, and the lives of those around them, Ehrenreicht's essay begins to make a lot more sense. It is because of my understanding of values within our culture and my own personal experience with my family that I believe Ehrenreicht's essay on family is completely true in the ideas that it expresses. Most of us choose only to recall fond memories of our youth when we speak about how great family life is, though the reality of things is that few of us have a perfect youth with our family and it is often peppered with emotional and physical harm.
Ehrenreicht hits the nail on the head when she talks about the plight of the wife, many of their problems come not from outside of the house, but within. Turn to any daytime TV show to see the crying and emotional pain that family members cause, whether it be from physical or emotional abuse. While the examples like Lorena Bobbitt, OJ Simpson, and The Menendez brothers may be a bit extreme, they are representative of the reality of American Families (though to a lesser degree). Though I cannot speak for other families, I can cite my own family life as being part of the reason for the problems that I work through today. As Ehrenreicht says the Family is the place where we go for comfort and to relax, but it is that very notion of family being a safe haven makes it all that much worse when problems inevitably arise. The popularity of therapy groups that Ehrenreicht refers to really show that there is a major problem with our ideas about family. Knowing that there is a problem does not explain why the problem exists, or how to solve it
As best I can discern, the discrepancy between the idealized form of family and the reality of it stems in part from the mixed messages we get from our society. Since the big business era of the early 1900s America has been a culture of, for better or worse, social and economic Darwinism, that is to say that if we fail to be successful it is by no ones fault other than our own. That sort of philosophy encourages us all to be aggressive in getting what we want, and putting ourselves first. Unfortunately the notion does not fit in with family life, which resembles (at least initially) a soft form of socialism which is a far cry from the cut throat capitalism that is proclaimed by our society. The overly assertive behavior we exhibit is rewarded by success, becoming a part of the fabric of our very being, which in turn influences our behavior in family life where aggressiveness is often inappropriate. In addition to the aggressiveness we are taught, American culture is characterized by rugged individualism. The notion of rugged individualism that we hold so preciously not only is cause for conflicts between children and their parents, but also makes dependency a shameful thing. The view of dependency being bad often leads parents into seeing their children as a burden or a failure if they are not standing on their own two feet by the time they reach the legal age of adulthood, this in turn can create resentment with their children. Given the confines of our culture, there is not a feasible solution to deal with the idealization of family.
For things to be fixed would require one of two things to happen. The first and easiest solution would be to change our notions about family. To successfully create a new definition we would need to take into careful consideration no so much what we idealize family as, but the reality of the situation. From there we would have to slip these ideas into mainstream culture so little by little this new notion of family becomes acceptable, and ultimately the standard. This has happened in Americas past before, most recently with our change to the nuclear family.
The other option is to conform our culture to be able to accommodate our current definition of family. The process for changing culture to conform to our current idea of family would be far too monumental task to do simply to have our current ideals of family work. What we need to bear in mind is that ideas change out of necessity. The previous model of thought was replaced by the current one because of changes brought about by the industrial revolution. The problems arising from our current families may be a cry for a change, and Ehrenreicht outlines the problems perfectly.
In citing high profile examples that are representative of the rest of America, and our morbid fascination with them, she allows us to see what would be considered blasphemy by most. Though neither her nor myself are able to come up with a better system, if we are to survive the process must ultimately evolve to suit our needs. These people who blindly advocate this notion of an idealized family continue the process of pain for those trapped within its confines.
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Family Practice: Summary The American family today, has the same problems that the American Family of yesterday had. Daniel A. Sugarman, a psychologist in «Family Practice» Introduces us to several case studies that seem to be the main nucleus of family Problems today. He has put together a system called «Seven Ways to Keep the Peace at Home,» Canadian Family Enetering 21st Sample essay topic, essay writing: Canadian Family Enetering 21st - 1277 words
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