the new family the fading american dream n.
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The New Family  The Fading American Dream. By: Emily Miscannon. Thesis.

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The New Family  The Fading American Dream

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  • As the family dynamic in America shifts from a traditional two parent household to a more contemporary dynamic, the traditional American Dream changes as well. Instead of the 1950s stereotypical house in the suburbs with a white picket fence and a happy family, people strive to be better than those before them, to be economically well off, and find true happiness.
american dream in the 1950s
American Dream in the 1950s
  • For Men:
    • “breadwinning career’
    • Able to support family (wife can stay at home)
  • For Women:
    • Married to a successful man
  • Not all families could afford good life
  • Books, magazines, advertisements, etc, depicted women and men as homemakers and breadwinners, respectively
  • All is well on the home front
the shift
The Shift
  • Women’s movement
    • Equality, jobs, housework
  • Economic hard times
    • Can’t afford to have both parents not work
  • Change in order
    • Pregnancy comes first (typically not followed by marriage)
    • Only one parent homes, no marriage at all
  • Kids seen as inadequate in today’s society
    • Today’s generation is different than our parents
      • Not expecting “happily-ever-after”
      • House in the suburbs is no longer goal
    • All kids are problem (war on kids from adults); never good enough
  • Education hindering family life
    • More people go to college after high school instead of getting a job and settling down (college education required in most jobs now)
    • More people want to start career before starting family
  • New parental roles
    • American Dream required two parents, one breadwinner and one housekeeper
    • New family dynamic is not always two parents
    • Most families have both parents work; no fulltime housekeeper
    • Women expected to share more housework responsibilities no matter what kind of job (want men to have equal responsibility)
  • Changing gender dynamics within a family have shifted family life, which, in turn has caused the traditional American Dream to fade
  • Changing gender dynamics within a family have shifted family life
  • New future goals are shaping the way people see themselves in the respect of family