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What is an American Family?. What is a Russian family?. The All-American Family. Both parents Children Home and car Church-going Volunteers/active members of the community Pets. “Traditional” American Family.

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the all american family
The All-American Family
  • Both parents
  • Children
  • Home and car
  • Church-going
  • Volunteers/active members of the community
  • Pets

Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.

  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place.
winds of change
Winds of change
  • 1960-1999: Average age of mothers having 1st child rose by 2.7 years (25.9 years)
    • New Zealand: 29.9
    • UK: 29.1
    • Switzerland: 28.7
    • Russia: 23
  • Interestingly, no change in % women who stay childless

1960: married families 75% all households

  • 2000: 53% married, 27% single-parent families

Colonial times: Average woman had more than 7 children

  • 2000: average is 1.8 children
  • Those who are having more than 1 child are spacing them out further
  • Up until 2000, breadwinners were primarily husbands
  • 2000: only 1 in 5 families had male as single breadwinner
  • In married couples with children under 6 years old, only 36% of mothers stay at home
  • Formal marriage no longer the exclusive arbiter of fertility
  • 1910: 88% widows who were 65 years or older lived with their children
  • 2000: 78% live alone

Non-Traditional Families

7 out of 10 children live in

“non-traditional” families


2006: 12.9 million families in the U.S. were headed by a single parent, 80% of which were headed by a female

    • U.K.: 2.8 million single parents (with 3 million children)

Single-parent adoptions

    • Legal in all states (since mid-19th century!)
  • Trans-racial adoptions
    • 1948
  • Same-sex couple adoptions
    • Legal in most states (single-custody)
    • Joint adoption legal in approx. 50%
  • Americans have adopted more than 200,000 children from overseas in the past 15 years, half of whom come from Asia

Only in 1967 that the U.S. Supreme Court knocked down a Virginia statute barring whites from marrying nonwhites

    • The decision also overturned similar bans in 15 other states.
  • Black-white marriages increased from 65,000 (1970) to 422,000 (2005), according to Census Bureau figures
  • More than 7% of America’s 59 million married couples in 2005 were interracial
    • Less than 2 % in 1970
  • Still face challenges
    • Bob Jones University, SC: dropped its ban on interracial dating in 2000
    • 2001: 40% of the voters objected when Alabama became the last state to remove a no-longer-enforceable ban on interracial marriages from its constitution

Same-sex marriages legal

    • Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington D.C., Oregon’s Coquille & Washington state’s Suquamish Indian tribes
    • Briefly legal in CA: June 16, 2008 to November 4, 2008
  • Maryland recognizes same-sex marriages (but does not grant them)
  • Civil unions:
    • CA, CO, HI, ME, MD, NV, OR, RI, WI, IL, WA: have created legal unions for same-sex couples that offer varying subsets of the rights and responsibilities of marriage under the laws of those jurisdiction
    • NJ: created legal unions that, while not called marriages, are explicitly defined as offering all the rights and responsibilities of marriage under state (though not federal) law to same-sex couples
  • Domestic partner rights
    • City, county, state level
non traditional
  • Single-parent
  • Bi-racial
  • Same-sex
  • Adopted/in vitro
  • Non-married
  • No children
  • Divorced
  • Stay-at-home dad
  • Homeschooled
reflections in television film
Reflections in television/film
  • Adventures of Ozzy & Harriet
  • Leave It To Beaver
  • All in the Family
  • I Love Lucy
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Brady Bunch
  • The Cosby Show
  • Roseanne
  • Ellen
  • The Simpsons
  • Glee
  • My Two Dads
  • Full House
  • Kate and Allie

How family is portrayed is important because television is a source for learning about family: what families look like, what an ideal family is, how spouses are supposed to behave, how parents are expected to treat their children, and how families resolve problems

  • Today: nearly every family situation portrayed on television reflects at least one non-traditional family

What is marriage? What is family?

  • More importantly, who determines what a “family” is: government, religion or individual?
family values
“Family Values”
  • Conservative ideas gaining popularity in U.S.
    • Promotion of traditional marriage
    • Opposition to same-sex marriage
    • Opposition to sex outside of marriage
    • Support for abstinence education
      • Today: 95% adult Americans have had pre-marital sex
      • 1950s: 90%
    • Roll back on aspects of feminism
    • Policies protecting children from obscenity/exploitation

28 states where constitutional amendments or initiatives that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman

  • Defense of Marriage Act (1996)
    • The federal government defines “marriage” as a legal union between one man and one woman
    • No state (or other political subdivision in the U.S.) may be required to recognize as marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state
    • Passed both houses of Congress by large marjorities
debate questions
Debate Questions
  • Should same-sex marriage be legal in the U.S.?
  • Should same-sex marriage be legal in Russia?
  • Should the federal government be allowed to determine what “marriage” or “family” is?