An agent of socialization can be termed as a factor that enables or influences the growth of an individual. There are numerous agents available in the society, and they include the peer groups, the media, the school and the most important the family. An individual's development process is profoundly affected by the parents who shape thoughts and behaviors. To some extent individuals not only resemble their parents in appearance only but also in terms of the kind of life they lead. For many years as after an individual is born the closest people are the family. This contact occurs in the formative years when minds are still developing and don't have a clear perception of what awaits in the world. This early contact has the most profound effect on our lives as we grow up (Mich, 2013). In times of need, the first place to look for solace is in the family. It is also in the family that individuals understand how the society works and the role they need to look forward to.
Dramatic Changes in the American Family
There has been a significant shift in the American family setting which can be primarily attributed to the shift in the number of women into the paid labor force. These shift over the past few decades have caused a profound change in the family structures and composition. Women movements and organization beginning in the 1960s saw the birth of this shift. The movements advocated for women rights as well as equality. As a result, more and more women set to the workforce in swarms purposefully to make an earning as the men did at the time (Poole, 2005).
As the cost of living rose over the years, then it became necessary that an additional stream of income was generated by the family hence relying on one family member to provide for the whole family soon became unrealistic, and the women started pursuing formal careers. As a result, women gave birth to fewer children with those being born having less attention from the parents whose careers are demanding.
Difference in Marriage and Family Life
Over the year, it has become more and more acceptable to intermarry. People from varying walks of life meet in universities, colleges and other settings where they meet a partner fall in love and get married regardless of their race. In the past decades, it was considered unacceptable to marry a person from a different racial or class background and individuals who did so would most likely be disowned by their own family. Cultural settings at the time dictated that an individual should only marry someone from the same cultural background. This limited the personal choices such as marriage partners. In recent times, this has changed as human right groups have emerged to advocate for individual's freedom of choice and right to associate with whoever they want. Such campaigns have led to the emergence of the gay rights where one can marry an individual from another gender (Castelloe, 2011). Some states have even legalized such marriages. In the old days, this would have been totally unacceptable, and the whole society would have shunned such ideologies.
Positive or Negative?
I believe that diverse families are a positive development in the society. They signify a growing global village where we can freely associate with one another. As a result, sharing ideas and other resources for our own prosperity and for the generations to come. People in the society have over the last few years to exercise their freedom of choice a clear indication of growing democracy which holds the key to the future. Diverse families to some extent will help curtail conflicts witnessed in the various corners of the world. The more diverse a family is, the more likely they will find a common ground whenever an issue arises. Allowing marital and sexual preferences mean that the society is moving towards a more tolerant society with open minded persons who are able and willing to accept the differences of others (Castelloe, 2011). A community that embraces diversity while at the same time maintaining nationalism is most likely to succeed in the global scene. The society will experience few conflicts and an abundance of ideas.
Pre-World War II?
There is no two way about this proposition. Going back to these old times would negate all the progress made so far by governments and activists to in achieving equal rights. First men will be considered to have the ultimate say when it comes to all matters in the society while the women will be expected to abide by the terms set out by the husband (Mich, 2013). This means that the role of women will be restricted to that of homemakers nurturing and caring for the children as the men are out there working in stores and offices. Women have so far claimed their fair share of familial power a shift to the pre-world war II times would take this away from them as they will more often than not left to work in in the kitchen. Overall, this shift would erode the empowerment women have achieved so far.
Castelloe, M. (2011). Changes in the American Family. Retrieved 28th January 2016 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-me-in-we/201104/changes-in-the-american-family
Mich, C. (2013). The Changing American Family. Retrieved 28th January, 2016 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/health/families.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Poole, M. (2005). Family: Changing Families, Changing Times. Crow Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.