Modern Society: American Family Values


United States Ethnic Culture and family values are centered on individuals, messianic in nature, saving the world as aphorism, people are outspoken, expressive and efficient communicators, more individual influence and disseminated decision making prevails in negotiation style. US dealing with family counterparts are straight, more understated, gratitude and grudge for both favors and humiliations respectively are superseded by business purpose, strong ability to make immediate response but with the concept of global monoculture the scenario is fast changing and the families of US are in vicinity of alien cultures in recent time and the result of this exchange is quite uncertain on the American way of life and most importantly its family values.

Family values and marriage

It should be taken into account that one of the most distinguishable aspects of modern family values are its attitude towards sexuality and marriage. Given the many problems that are associated with marriage, it is not so surprising that many young people in post Modern societies- which, to a great extent, now values individual fulfillment over traditions or modern Society – have become disillusioned with the institution of marriage. This has resulted in the surging of non-traditional social structures. Divorce used to be quite rare in Pre modern Society, but in modern society it became extremely common. In the Soviet Union, for example, only 37 percent of marriages survive three years, and 70 percent break up within a decade. Men and women tend to divorce their spouses for different reasons (Meyer, 611). Women can claim a variety of reasons for seeking a separation from their spouses. Such reasons include physical, emotional, or mental abuse, heavy substance abuse, infidelity, sexual problems, or lack of support. Men seeking divorce from their wives complain of nagging, a dull sex life, or meddling in-laws. Women usually are more dissatisfied and find more fault with their marriages than men do. It must be added that the majority of men and women do eventually remarry. However, remarriages often fail as well. Divorced women with higher incomes and educations frequently delay remarrying, and many of these successful women never remarry (Grasmick, 357). Remarriages tend to be more gratifying for the husbands than for the wives, just as is the case with first marriages. All these factors are distinctively different from traditional US family values.

Position of women

Regarding household works it can be stated that since family is such a basic and vital social unit in all societies, persons of all political persuasions have at-times visceral opinions about what things promote the institution and what forces degrade it. In the United States, conservatives and liberals view family very differently. Three of the most contentious issues regarding family life in America are abortion, feminism, and homosexuality. Feminism also sharply divides liberals and conservatives. Liberals intensely value individual fulfillment. They encourage women to seek satisfaction outside of the family. For example, they encourage women to maintain careers even with families. Meanwhile, conservatives maintain that a woman’s primary duty is to look after her husband and children. To many conservatives, individual fulfillment simply looks selfish. (Becker, 714)


In the context of Child-rearing it can be said that it is changing not just in the United States, but worldwide as well. The processes for rearing a child are changing because, in part, the institution of family is itself transforming. In traditional societies, the family system tended to take the form of the extended family. In extended families, more than two generations of the same kinship line lived together, either in the same residence or in nearby dwellings. All adults in these extended families shared responsibility for child-rearing. Then, during the Industrial Revolution, the nuclear family became the most common familial system, at least within the Western nations. In the modern world, the smaller nuclear family structure held many advantages over the traditional extended family. Nuclear families helped to promote geographical and social mobility. Smaller families also tended to spend less money simply because there were fewer individuals to provide for. This important social change would have profound effects on how children were raised. While the nuclear family offered increased economic feasibilities, the mother and father- who now had to raise the children on their own- sometimes found child-rearing to be exhausting and a burden. In addition, the children- to a considerable extent separated from most other family members- would sometimes find themselves alienated from these extended family members. In many respects, the nuclear family engenders a sense of loneliness within offspring (Meyer, 610).

“Non-traditional” families

In the last few decades, the number of “non-traditional” families has skyrocketed. These family structures include single-parent families and reconstituted families (nuclear families in which at least one member is a survivor of divorce). These “non-traditional” families pose special problems for children. Often, the head of the household in single-parent families does not possess the financial resources to take care of the offspring properly. In addition, some heads are so busy with work and other adult responsibilities that they cannot provide adequate supervision for the offspring. Reconstituted families face the difficult challenges of creating appropriate relationships among step-parents and step-children, between the children of one spouse and the children of the other spouse, and between various new half-brothers, half-sisters, and the existing children (Darling, 270).

Affects of Globalization

In present day society, the destruction of traditional families and its values in order to initiate them into the global monoculture is more subtle than it was in the past. Most corporate and government leaders do not intend to destruct traditional cultures; for the most part, they are often unaware that they are doing so. Regardless of whether or not the concepts and approach of the development toward global monocultures is, in fact, more subtle than in previous generations, the effects of the destruction of cultural diversity are still more devastating. The computer and technology revolution of the past twenty years have given executives even more reason to disrupt and destroy cultural diversity, attempting to “do what is best for each society and the world,” (Rasing, 56) without, in fact, considering how these revisions affect each society and family values. Cultural and Family values are becoming intermingled and thus the future blueprint of family values remains uncertain.


Family values, therefore seems to assume that diversity of various cultures alongside differing values and beliefs created chaos, and by discarding of these differences, they will no longer exist, and everybody will be able to get along. However, this assumption has created a horrible consequence. Villages, rural communities, and their age-old traditions and customs all around the globe are being discarded and removed in a large scale destruction of tradition and this is not applicable to developing countries alone, it has affected the US family values too. The globalizing market therefore forces the destruction and removal of tradition and history, removing cultures that have been present for thousands of years. Regardless of this fact, the spread of consumer monoculture appears to be never ending and under such parameters it is only logical to believe that family values would keep changing in times to come.

Works Cited

Becker, Penny. “Work, Family and Involvement for Men and Women”. Journal for the Scientific Study 40.4, (2007): 707-722.

Darling, Carol. “Understanding stress and quality of life”. Stress and Health 20.5, (2004): 261-277.

Grasmick, Harold. “The Effects of Religious Fundamentalism and Religiosity on Preference for Traditional Family Norms”. Sociological Inquiry 60.4, (2007): 352 – 369.

Meyer, Burt. “Globalization and Identity: Dialectics of Flow and Closure”. Development and Change 29.4, (2005): 601-16.

Rasing, Ted. Modernity on a Shoestring: Dimensions of Globalization, Consumption and Development in Africa and Beyond. Leiden/London: EIDOS, 2006.