Families are en essential part of our everyday life, our development, our self image, our values and our social support. We all need people we can rely on and that we some how know won’t just walk away when things get tough.
In my last post I have written about the changing structure and form of modern families. Now I would like to take up why the modern family is going through change. In my studies at Oslo College University we are learning about the modern family. There are four major reasons the family, especially in the west, is going through change:
Urbanisation: Most of western societies and many of eastern societies have gone from a farm and natural resources based economy to an industrial, and later service based economy. This means that people often leave villages they have lived in for generations and move to cities, or even other countries to find work and a better way of life. This breaks generational family ties and makes our support network more fragmented.
Changing roll of women: Women have ventured more and more out into the workforce of the last 50 years. Women being more independent and self reliant, higher educated and career oriented is without a doubt a positive thing. But it tends to increase the divorce rate and the amount of cohabitating couples, and women choose to wait until later in life to have children and have fewer of them.
Mobility and time press: The newest trend is families that don’t live together full time. An increasing number of younger couples are for example living separately during the work week to accommodate careers and live in the same home only on the weekends, or periodically.
Individualisation: Along with the growth of capitalism often comes a more individualized society. People in western societies are more reflected than earlier generations, we are more interested in self development, personal gain and success and our personal interests then before. 50 to 100 years ago people had to think more collectively to survive without social benefits, pension, health services, and many of the other benefits of modern society – today we live more of our life alone and think more over our individual needs, often at the expense of the collective good.
Local support networks are being weekend and families are spread out across the globe, like mine….this often makes our cultural traditions and religious codes less important when we are away from our local communities watchful eye. Do you recognise your family in some of these descriptions? Is the modern freedom of living an advantage or are there hidden costs? What do you think? Please post your thoughts for others to share!