Hi.I need you to write me a 2-3 page opinion piece essay discussing whether American families are on the decline or not. The side I want you to support is: American Families are declining. Full instructions are on the Assignment Information and Rubric Word Documents. Paper must be done in APA format. There are 2 articles that I will attach here and these will be the main point of reference. You will also have to bring up the other side of the argument (i.e. the other article that is against the choice). You will also have to mention 4 supporting pieces of evidence that back up the article of your choice from the book “Marriages and Families Changes, choices, and constraints” the Eighth Edition by Nijole V. Benokraitis. I will attach pdf photos of some pages you can use for evidence, just choose the most suitable ones. The photos are all combined into 1 pdf in the order of images (1) to (8) accordingly.Here are the page numbers of the photos for citation purposes:Photo (1) is page 430Photo (2) is page 430Photo (3) is page 368Photo (4) is page 369Photo (5) is page 271Photo (6) is page 270Photo (7) is page 302Photo (8) is page 302If you have access to the book and want to use some other pieces of information, please feel free to do so as long as it supports our side of the argument (our side is supporting the theory that American families are decline).
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Marriage has been the fundamental social arrangement throughout much of American
history, providing structure and meaning in peopleâ??s lives.
It has marked entry into adulthood â?? 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?
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?
There are two readings associated with this paper that YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU
The articles associated with this assignment are available electronically:
â?¢ LeBey outlines the decline argument
â?¢ Coontz outlines the resilience argument
Read each article and determine which side of the debate you align yourself with.
Then, find at least FOUR additional pieces of research/information from the textbook
that further supports the position (beyond what is described in the articles themselves).
Your position papers must be:
â?¢ APA Format
â?¢ Two to three pages in length
â?¢ 12-point font
â?¢ Times New Roman font
â?¢ Double-spaced lines
â?¢ Standard one-inch margins on all sides
This paper must also include at least 4 references from the text to support your position
â?? those references should be included in the body of your paper and on a reference page.
*****Remember that APA formatting and citation style is a must.
Be sure to include the following:
â?¢ Title page
â?¢ Running head
â?¢ Page numbers
In-text citations of fact-based information
Reference page (you need only reference the textbook and the two articles that
are required reading)
Points and Quality Markers
Content (40 Points)
Includes brief description of both of the topic positions
Describes social and cultural characteristics used to
rationalize the family resilience position
Describes social and cultural characteristics used to
rationalize the family decline position
Evaluates strengths/weaknesses of both positions and
takes a clear stand on one side of the debate
Organization (10 points)
Are the main ideas presented in a clear, concise
manner? Does the content logically follow and work to
develop ideas? Did they transition smoothly from one
section to the next? Were paragraphs well-organized?
Language (15 points)
Is the writing free of grammatical & spelling mistakes?
Have they correctly used APA citations and
The topic is poorly developed.
Supporting details are absent.
Trite ideas and/or unclear
wording reflect a lack of
understanding of topic and
The topic is evident with some
supporting details, generally
meeting requirements of the
Topic is well developed,
effectively supported and
appropriate for the assignment.
Effective, critical thinking is
clearly and creatively expressed.
Writing is rambling and
unfocused. Main theme and
supporting details are absent or
Writing lacks sentence variety.
Significant deficiencies in
wording, spelling, grammar,
punctuation, or presentation. No
some grasp of organization
with main theme, supporting
details presented in a
disorganized, unrelated way.
Needs more sentence variety.
Deficiencies in wording,
punctuation, or presentation.
Too few citations used or
adequate grasp of
organization, with a
discernible theme and
depth/detail or were entirely
Writing is clearly organized
around a central theme. Each
paragraph is clear and relates to the
others in a well-planned
Adequate sentence variety;
adequate use of wording,
grammar, and punctuation.
Cited sources used with some
Did not contribute to the debate
or contributed in minor ways.
Other (10 points)
Participated in class debate about topic positions.
The topic is not fully evident.
Supporting details are vague.
Unclear ideas or unclear
wording reflect need to
improve understanding of
topic and audience
Wide variety of sentence
structures. Excellent word usage,
spelling, grammar, punctuation.
Sources correctly cited using APA.
Effective integration of
Contribution reflected general
understanding of the material
Participated multiple times;
contributed valid points that
reflected critical thinking and
mastery of the readings
Strengths and Areas to Improve:
Total Points: ______________
LIFE IN AMERICA
Are Drifting Apart
The sexual revolution, women’s liberation, relaxation of divorce laws, and
greater mobility are fracturing the traditional family structure.
BY BARBARA LEBEY
VARIETY OF REASONS-from
petty grievances to deep-seated prejudices,
misunderstandings to all-out
jealousies, sibling rivalry, inheritance
feuds, family business disputes, and homoÂ
sexual outings-are cause for families to
grow apart. Family estrangements are bemore numerous, more intense, and
more hurtful. When I speak to groups on
the subject, I always ask: Who has or had
an estrangement or knows someone who
does’? Almost every hand in the room goes
up. Sisters aren’t speaking to each other
since one of them took the silver when
Mom died. Two brothers rarely visit beÂ
cause their wives don’t like each other.
A son alienates himself from his family
when he marries a woman who wants to
believe that he sprung from the earth. BeÂ
cause Mom is the travel agent for
trips, her daughter avoids contact with her.
A family banishes a daughter for marrying
outside her race or religion. A son eradiÂ
cates a divorced father when he reveals his
homosexuality. And so it goes.
The nation is facing a rapidly changing
family relationship landscape. Every asÂ
sumption made about the family structure
has been challenged, from the outer boundÂ
aries of single mothers raising out-of-wedÂ
lock children to gay couples having or
adopting children to grandparents raising
their grandchildren. If the so-called tradiÂ
tional family is having trouble maintaining
imagine what problems can and
do arise in less-conventional situations.
Fault lines in Americans’ family structure
were widening throughout the last 40 years
of the 20th century. The cracks became evÂ
ident in the mid 1970s when the divorce
rate doubled. According to a 1999 Rutgers
University study, divorce has risen 30%
since 1970; the marriage rate has fallen
faster; and just 38% of Americans consider
themselves happy in their married state, a
drop from 53% 25 years ago. Today, 51 %
of all marriages end in divorce.
How Americans managed to alter their
concept of marriage and family so produring those four decades is the
subject of much scholarly investigation
and academic debate. In a May, 2000, New
York Times Magazine article titled “The
Pursuit of Autonomy,” the writer mainÂ
tains that “the family is no longer a haven;
all too often a center of dysfunction, it has
become one with the heartless world that
surrounds it.” Unlike the past, the job that
fits you in your 208 is not the job or career
you ‘II likely have in your 40s. This is now
true of marriage as well-the spouse you
had in your 20s may not be the one you
will have after you’ve gone through your
m idlife cri sis.
In the 1960s, four main societal
changes occurred that have had an enorÂ
mous impact on the traditional family
structure. The sexual revolution, women’s
liberation movement, states’ relaxation of
divorce laws, and mobility of American
families have converged to foster family
alienation, exacerbate old family rifts. and
create new ones. It must he
however, that many of these
positive outcomes. The nation
a strengthened social conscience. women’s
to war. and a
1960s perpetuated the notion that
we are first and foremost entitled to
ness and fulfillment. It’s positively Ul1Â
American not to seek it! This idea goes
back to that early
of our history
when Thomas Jefferson dropped the final
term from British philosopher John
Locke’s definition of human rights-“life,
liberty, and … property”-and replaced it
with what would become the slogan of our
new nation: “the pursuit of happiness.” In
the words of author Gail Sheehy, the 1960s
generation “expressed their collective perÂ
sonality as idealistic, narcissistic, anti-esÂ
tablishment, hairy, horny and preferably
Any relationship that was failing to deÂ
liver happiness was being tossed out like
an empty beer can, including spousal ones.
For at least 20 years, the pharmaceutical
industry has learned how to cash in on the
American obsession with feeling good
hyping mood drugs to rewire the brain cirÂ
cui try for happiness through the eliminaÂ
tion of sadness and depression.
Young people fled from the confines of
whose members were frantic, worÂ
rying about exactly where their adult chilÂ
dren were and whatthey were doing. There
were probably more estrangements beÂ
tween parents and adult children during the
1960s and early 19705 than ever before.
In the wake of the civil rights moveÂ
ment and Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s Great
Society came the women’s liberation
movement, and what a flashy role it played
in changing perceptions about the
structure. Women who graduated from
college in the late 1960s and early 1970s
were living in a time when they could esÂ
tablish and assert their independent identiÂ
ties. In Atlanta, Emory Law School’s 1968
graduating class had six women in it, the
largest number ever to that point, and all
six were in the top 10%, including the
number-one graduate. In that same period,
many all-male colleges opened their doors
to women for the first time. No one could
doubt the message singer Helen Reddy
proclaimed: “I am woman, hear me roar.”
For all the self-indulgence of the “hippie”
generation, there was an intense awakenÂ
ing in young people of a recognition that
civil rights must mean equal rights for evÂ
eryone in our society, and that has to inÂ
Full equality was the battle cry of every
. a status that women claimed deÂ
spite their majority position. As they had
once marched for the right to vote, women
began marching for sexual equality and the
same broad range of career and job opporÂ
tunities that were always available to men.
Financial independence gave women the
freedom to walk away from unhappy marThis was a dramatic departure from
the puritanical sense of duty that had been
woven into the American fabric since the
birth of this nation.
For all the good that came out of this
movement, though, it also changed forever
traditional notions of marriage, motherÂ
hood, and family unity, as well as that
overwhelming sense of children first. Even
in the most-conservative young
wives were letting their husbands know
that they were going back to work or back
to school. Many women had to return to
work either because there was a need for
two incomes to maintain a moderate stanÂ
dard of living or because they were diÂ
vorced and forced to support their
offspring on their own. “Don’t ask, don’t
tell” day-care centers proliferated where
overworked, undertrained staff, and two-
income yuppie parents, ignored the chilÂ
dren’s emotional needs~all in the name of
equality and to enable women to reclaim
their identifies. Some might say these were
the parents who ran away from home.
Many states began to approve legislaÂ
tion that allowed no-fault divorce, elimiÂ
nating the need to lay blame on spouses or
stage adulterous scenes in sleazy motels to
provide evidence for states that demanded
such evidence for divorces. The legal sysÂ
tem established procedures for easily disÂ
solving marriages, dividing property, and
sharing responsibility for the children.
There were even do-it-yourself divorce
manuals on bookstore shelves. Marriage
had become a choice rather than a necesÂ
sity, a one-dimensional status sustained alÂ
most exclusively by emotional satisfaction
and not worth maintaining in its absence.
Attitudes about divon.:e were becoming
more lenient, so much so that the nation fiÂ
elected its first divorced president in
I 980–Ronald Reagan.
With divorced fathers always
the risk of estrangement from their chilÂ
dren, this growing divorce statistic has had
the predictable impact of increasing the
number of those estrangements. GrandparÂ
ents also experienced undeserved fallout
from divorce, since, almost invariably, they
are alienated from their grandchildren.
The fourth change, and certainly one of
the most pivotal, was the increased mobilÂ
ity of families that occurred during those
four decades. Family members were no
longer living in close proximity to one anÂ
other. The organization man moved to
wherever he could advance more quickly
up the corporate ladder. College graduates
look the best job offer, even if it was 3,000
miles away from where they grew up and
where their family still lived.
Some were getting out of small towns
for new vistas, new adventures, and new
job opportunities. Others were fleeing the
overcrowded dirty cities in search of cleaner
air, a more reasonable cost of living, and
retirement communities in snow-free,
warmer, more-scenic locations. Moving
from company to company had begun,
reaching what is now a crescendo
young people chose to
marry someone who lived in a different
location, so family tics were geographiÂ
cally severed for indeterminate periods of
time, sometimes forever.
According to Lynn H. Dennis’ CorpoÂ
rate Relocation Takes Its Toll on Society.
during the 10 years from 1989 to 1999,
more than 5,000,000 families were reloÂ
cated one or more times bv their
ers. In addition to employer-directed
moves, one out of five Americans reloÂ
cated at least once, not for exciting advenÂ
ture, but for economic advancement and/or
a safer place to raise children. From
March, 1996, to March, 1997, 42,000,000
Americans, or 16% of the population,
packed up and moved from where
were living to another location. That is a
striking statistic. Six million of these peoÂ
ple moved from one region of the country
10 another, and young adults aged 20 to 29
were the most mobile, making up 32% of
the moves during that year. This disburseÂ
ment of nuclear families throughout the
country disconnected them from parents,
brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, unÂ
cles, and cousins~the extended family
and all its adhesive qualities.
with cell phones, computers,
faxes, and the Internet. the office can be
anywhere, including in the home. ThereÂ
fore, we can live anywhere we want to. If
that is the case, why aren’t more people
choosing to live in the cities or towns
where they grew up? There’s no definitive
answer. Except for the praise heaped on
values,” staying close to family no
longer plays a meaningful role in choosing
where we reside.
These relocations require individuals to
invest an enormous amount of time to reesÂ
tablish their lives without help from family
or old friends. Although nothing can comÂ
pare to the experience of immigrants who
left their countries knowing they probably
would never see their families again, the
phenomenon of Americans continually reÂ
locating makes family relationships diffiÂ
cult to sustain.
Our culture tends to focus on the indiÂ
viduaL or, at most, on the nuclear family,
the benefits of extended famÂ
ilies, though their role is vital in shaping
our lives. The notion of “moving on”
whenever problems arise has been a timeÂ
honored American concept. Too many
people would rather cast aside some family
member than iron out the situation and
keep the relationship alive. If we don’t get
along with our father or if our mother
doesn’t like our choice of mate or our way
of life, we just move away and see the famÂ
once or twice a year. After we’re marwith children in school, and with both
parents working, visits become even more
difficult. If the family visits are that infreÂ
quent. why bother at all? Some children
grow up barely knowing any of their relaÂ
tives. Contact ceases; rifts don’t resolve;
and divisiveness often germinates into a
Article 2. American Families Are Drifting Apart
In an odd sort of way, the more finanÂ
cially independent pcople become, the
more families scatter and grow apart. It’s
not a cause, but it is a facilitator. Tolerance
levels decrease as financial means increase.
Just think how much more we tolerate from
our fami lies when they are providing finanÂ
cial support. Look at the divorced wife who
depends on her family for money to
ment alimony and child support, the stuÂ
dent whose parents are paying all college
expenscs, or the brother who borrows famÂ
money to savc his business.
Recently, a well-known actress being
interviewed in a popular magazine was
asked, if there was one thing she could
change in her family, what would it be?
Her answer was simple: “That we could all
live in the same city.” She understood the
importance of heing near loved ones and
how, even in a harmonious family, geoÂ
graphical distance often leads to emotional
disconnectedness. When relatives arc regÂ
ularly in each other’s company, they will
usually make a greater effort to get along.
Even when there is dissension among famÂ
members, they are more likely to work
it out, either on their own or heeause anÂ
other relative has intervened to calm the
troubled waters. When rifts occur, relaÂ
tives often need a real jolt to perform an act
offorgiveness. Forgiving a family member
can be the hardest thing to do, probably beÂ
cause the emotional bonds are so much
deeper and usually go all the way back to
childhood. Could it be that blood is a
thicker medium in which to hold a grudge?
With today’s familics scattcred all over
the country, the matriarch or patriarch of
the extended family is far less able to keep
his or her kin united, caring, and supportive
of one another. In these disconnected nuÂ
clear families. certain trends-workaholÂ
ism, alcoholism, depression, severe stress,
isolation, escapism, and a push toward conÂ
tinuous supervised activity [or children-Â
are routinely observed. What happened to
that family day of rest and togetherness?
We should mourn its absence.
For the widely dispersed baby boomers
with more financial means than any prior
generation, commitment, intimacy, and
togetherness have never been high
on their list of priorities. How many times
have you heard of family members trying to
maintain a relationship with a relative via eÂ
mail and answering machines? One young
man now sends his Mother’s Day greeting
by leaving a message for his mom on his anÂ
swering machinc. When she calls to scold
him for forgetting to call her, she’ll get a
few sweet words wishing her a happy
Mother’s Day and his apology for being too
to eall or send a card! His sister can exÂ
pect the same kind of greeting tiJr her bi11hÂ
but only if she bothers to call to find out
why her brother hadn’t contacted her.
Right now, and probably for the foresecÂ
able future, we will be searching for anÂ
swers to the burgeoning problcms we
created by these societal
changes, but don’t bc
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