Category: Sociology

American Families

There are several myths describing American families and diversity in families. These myths attempt to account for the reality of families in the current American society.  One of these myths suggests that in American society, mothers with young kids are less employed continuously as compared with fathers of the same age. This myth points out that young mothers prefer taking time off or quitting job for a few years so that they can get time to stay with their children (Zinn, 2010). On the other hand, men with young children work hard day and night so that they can earn enough salary to sustain their family. This statement appears to be true in most families. For instance, in my family, my mother who is professionally a clinical officer remained at home until our last born joined a primary school. Similarly, most families of my local area have young mothers remain at home until their children grow up.   

Family Structure in US

John Demos demonstrated family structure in US colonial family. He describes how men had the right to control their wives and children as well as arranging guardianship. The father was legally responsible for feeding, education, religious beliefs, clothing, housing and meeting other needs of his family. This solidified the father’s authority over his family (Zinn, 2010). On the other hand, the mother was not permitted to undertake any actions since according to the structure of the family, the woman did not exist. She was considered as part of her husband and had no right to own any property or children. This is still evident in the current American society. For instance, Mr. Chris still dominates his family and does not allow wife to own property. The wife’s existence is not recognized in the family. His wife and children are considered to be a chattel, that is, a property owned by the husband. Similarly, most families still live under the coverture structure where the husband has the final say in the family.

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