Paper Example on Family Diversity

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Harvey Mudd College
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Marriage creates a unique relationship in profound and also complex ways. Marriage is considered a dynamic rather than a concrete of entity (Doherty 49). There are different factors that influences on marriage and they include religion, societal gender expectations and also the law. The paper will identify the result of a marriage which is family. Media is going to be selected, and the issue will be analyzed giving the necessary references.

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The media that will be the center of attention will be a book written by Maxine Baca-Zinn. The books deal with the diversity of families. The author explains that family is very different in todays era than it used to be in the past time (Thornton 21). They are nowadays more diverse, and most likely they are formed outside of marriage. The family includes a complex array of domestic arrangement and can be easily fractured (Zinn, Eitzen and Wells, Diversities in Families). Profound changes have reshaped families in recent years whereby you find that family members spend less time together where parents have less influence on their children. The changes have been experienced globally where women have grown to be economic independence; divorce has been the order of the day and cohabitation have made marriage an option for many individuals.

In the past, there were few political issues where the domestic politics purported breakdown of families or even the same sex-marriage. Some people tend to believe that the current development has been as a result of growing social decay (Zinn, Eitzen and Wells, Diversities in Families). Those people tend to believe that the increasing unpredictability of family norms and marriage patterns signal the drop of a family and fabricates the moral of the society. A lot of people do lament on the condition that families are in since in the current climate; they have been competing for the public attention.

The book can view the family life and how people visualize it, their myths, beliefs, and even values. By asking the student to call into questions existing social arrangement that people might consider sacred, it might require the exposure of the images and the myths that influence most of their perceptions (Doherty 54). When people understand that families are embedded in great social structures with growing economic inequalities, then there is a better frame of vision for understanding the many different family forms that harmonize in the society.

As much as family is a symbol of cultural, it is also a social norm. Most family images make it difficult to think about family life objectively. As much as people might want to be objective, their perceptions are guided by the cultural visions on their families (Doherty 68). Many social conditions prevent people from being analytical about their families. Families are not only familiar, but they are also mystified. Mystification is the deliberate misidentification of the family matters.

Families have got their myths, secrets and information processing rules which can determine the kinds of communication that develop. Families filter the information from the world and also their operational law. The family is not merely a social institution but a sacred label with strong moral connotations, but it is also the most private of all societys institution (Zinn, Eitzen and Wells, Diversities in Families). It is said that equating family life with the private sphere grants a deal of autonomy from the neighborhood gossips and the government regulations (Thornton 21). A family business should be nobody business since the family has got the right to their privacy. Privacy symbolizes decency and other qualities a culture holds firmly and dearly.

A family is a symbol that communicates through the use of emotions, senses, and memory; a family can consist of a husband, a wife, and their children. The image that has been there for long about a family was that the father was the breadwinner while the mother supported her family. The family life was viewed as cheerful and contented. Marriage was for better for worse, and parents were responsible for their childrens well- being and their success (Thornton 21). Three images can be used to describe a family who is; family as a fulfillment, family as haven and family as an encumbrance.

The themes that have been acknowledged in the media is the mythical theme. In this concept, the book recognizes the fact that there are different but related distinct myths about the family. Myths are the set of belief that are held uncritically without the examination or scrutiny. The myth is bound with a nostalgic memory, particular, perspective and cultural values concerning what is typical and what is the truth about the family (Zinn, Eitzen, and Wells, Diversities in Families). Different myths have been associated with the family.

The myth includes the myth of a stable and harmonious family of the past. In the myth, most people think that the families that were there in the past times were more stable, happier and even better adjusted. People tend to be selective on what they remember and in other words, they tend to romanticize the past (Thornton 21). The myth is a backward approach which seems to perceive that the families in the 21st century are in serious trouble. The anxiety of the family is not new, and the idea that the family is in trouble is very old.

Another myth indicates that the family is a place to escape from the outside world. The myth makes a distinction between the public and the private. It assumes that families are self-sufficient and relatively free from outside social pressures. The idea that family exists outside the rest of the world is a false dichotomy with different expectations.

There is the theme of change due to change in the social life. The economic downturn has also necessitated the change whereby women have not been found at home taking care of the children but instead they have been working too. There has been a change in how people view families from the past and also in recent days (Thornton 21). Today single mothers are raising children without their male partners; there have been more cases of people living together without being married, more unmarried couples raising children and more gay and lesbian couples raising children. The traditional structure is very much different from the structure that is depicted of the family today.

In the analysis of the concept of marriage and family, the book uses two principle or two concepts to explain it. One of the principles indicates that there is a close relationship between marriage, family and the rest of the society. The second principle needs a serious analysis of society and family questioning on the present stereotype, official dogma and myths. In making a distinction, there are two levels of analysis. The macro level examines the relations and the roles of the family from the rest of the social life (Zinn, Eitzen and Wells, Diversities in Families). Families are analyzed about the social trends. The macro level illustrates how the social system can shape the family system. A family is considered a vital part of the economy since it produces both workers and consumers.

Micro level of analysis identifies the internal dynamics of the family life in this analysis; a family is a small group in which individuals spend most of their lives (Thornton 21). The experience of domestic sharing, intimacy, and kinship is examined. Intimate family relationship reflects the hierarchy of the larger social world.

In conclusion, the world is amidst of profound social changes just as the family is changing dramatically. As the society experience major earthquakes, social science is thinking of the seismic shifts in the family structure. First-hand information about social context and diversity are eroding the family causing different opinions to arise. To most people, the new structure can be attractive, and to others, it is a moral decay in the society.


Doherty, William J. "Continuities And Diversities." Marriage & Family Review 31.3-4 (2002): 49-68. Web.

Thornton, Arland. "How Family Myths Fuel Worldwide Family Change." Anthropology News 47.3 (2006): 21-21. Web.

Zinn, Maxine Baca, D. Stanley Eitzen, and Barbara Wells. Diversity In Families. 1st ed. Print.

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