What Happened To The Nuclear Family?

December 3, 2018

Outside of The Simpsons, I struggle to think of a TV show that portrays traditional family units in a positive light.

 

Families where the parents are still happily married and the whole family all live under one roof and exist positively together.

 

If I were to reflect on the TV shows that my 16yrs old has watched as a young adult, I would be more likely to see a Werwolf or a Vampire than a positive depiction of the nuclear family unit.

 

While a positive portrayal of a family unit is hard to find, the positive portrayal of a housewife is virtually non existent. I am unsure when society, as a collective, agreed to delete the encouragement or positive portrayal of a house wife from contemporary life, but the bizarre truth is that you are more likely to see articles in praise of Caitlyn Jenner's femininity than articles in praise the modern house wife.

 

Sadly, I find it hard to not arrive at the conclusion that this negative portrayal of the family unit, through both the media and popular culture, has been deliberate. A deliberate agenda that was initially started as a perfectly understandable backlash against the the sexist views of the gender roles of the past, but has now morphed into its own extreme world view. One in which the family, and in particular the role of the house wife, has been eroded from existence.

 

I believe this is an enormous shame and very damaging for society as a whole.

 

Thankfully, when the pendulum of conformity swings too far one way, as it clearly had done before trailblazing career women like my Mother showed that they could be as effective, or more so, than their male counter parts in the workforce, it eventually swings back the other way. Hopefully landing somewhere in the middle. In this respect, I hope that the middle would be a society that has the ability to laud both the housewife and the working mum respectively, without making either choice seem to come at the cost of something integral to their femininity. And most importantly, that there is a re-emergence of a societal respect towards the institution of marriage and benefits of a strong family. 

 

However, if you are not convinced by my desire to see society regain it's respect for family values, then I would  suggest that you take a quick look at two significant statistics from the US.

 

First, the average household income. In America the top household income based on ethnicity is Asian Americans. A demographic of relatively recent immigrants to America, who have already become the highest earning group within the nation. An impressive achievement. 

 

Second, the ethnic % representation of incarcerated men in America. Within this group, Asian Americans represent the smallest percentage ethnic group within the prison system (as an average figure based upon their representation as a whole in America) Again, another feather in the cap for Asian Americans. 

 

 So, Asian Americans top the household income charts and represent the smallest ethnic group of incarcerated men in America. They are also, broadly, as an ethnic group in America, the most conservative and traditional when it comes to family and the family unit.

 

Food for thought.

 

 

 

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