S. Marcus
Troy University

There are many things that come to mind when I think of the word family. In the last few decades, American families have changed significantly. New combinations of family households are more common than ever before, with the increase in divorce and remarriage, adoption, foster parenting, single parenthood, kinship care and same-sex relationships. A mother and father living together with their children is now just one possibility among many. In short, a family is any group of people who live together, share with one another, work together, care and support each other, keep each other safe and love each other. According to Gladding a family is considered to be those persons who are biologically and psychologically related, are connected by historical, emotional, or economic bonds and perceive themselves as a part of a household. A key concept that is seen within the family, are the different roles that family members take. These roles can be influenced by gender, society, or individual personality. Your family are the ones who teach you to be the person that you grow into. In the fifties the ideal family was a father who worked, a mother who stayed home, and children who went to school. This ideal family structure was the model for the rest of Middle America. It was on the television, in books, and in advertising. It was what every middle class family strove to posses. Any deviation from this was typically looked down upon and ostracized. However, times and social norms have changed rapidly since then. This typical family structure, called the nuclear family, no longer exists in today's world. For example, divorce, which is commonplace to current generations, was rare and shameful to past generations. This model of the perfect family no longer exists, and few expect it to. This ideal family structure has been destroyed by the woman's movement, a need for more income due to materialism, industrialization, and the motives behind marriage...