Marriage has been the fundamental social arrangement throughout much of American history, providing structure and meaning in people’s lives. It has marked entry into adulthood – the point at which children gain economic independence from their parents, leave the family home to forge their own families, and engage in sexual activity. Traditional gender roles have provided scripts that guided and organized how work, both inside and outside the home, would be divided and how children are raised.
Recent trends over the last 60 years have seen major shifts in the way marriage and family life are conceptualized, leaving many wondering what those changes will mean for the future of families. Are those changes working against families or are they signs of increased diversity and a need to think more broadly about what family life means?
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For this assignment you will need to reflect on these issues and take a stand on one side of the argument: are families in decline or are they resilient?
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