1950s Family Life
- August 30, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: Nursing Assistant Classes
When looking back at past eras, the 1950s is actually looked upon by some as an idyllic time in American history. The nuclear family headed by a male breadwinner was the desired norm as well as televisions shows such as Father Knows Best as well as I Love Lucy were well-known. However, there was a dark underside during This particular era. Women were treated like second-class citizens as well as some were living unhappily married because their financial as well as educational options were limited.
The media, in collusion with the government, as well as family sociologists constantly espoused the virtues of family as well as children as well as women, who wanted more out of life, were looked upon as freaks of nature. However, some women during 1950s expressed dissatisfaction with their lives as well as an unarticulated longing for a life beyond their children as well as husbands. Some of these wives were forced out the workforce after World War II as well as felt resentment of which their only option for financial stability was marriage. This particular unarticulated longing might lead to a major social upheaval towards the end of the 1950s as well as might be the beginning of the second-wave feminist movement. This particular movement caused a shift in family values as well as altered family structure for future generations to come. The 1950s Family Experiment might be short-lived nevertheless fondly remembered.
Several factors lead to the forming of the nuclear family. By the end of the 1940s, the divorce rate dropped sharply; the age of marriage feel to a 100-year low; as well as the birth rate soared. Women dropped out of the workforce as soon as they become pregnant as well as some young women had two or more children in diapers at once. Also during This particular time, the education gap between young middle-class men as well as women increased as well as job segregation for working women as well as men peaked. Limited educational as well as job opportunities for women made them more dependent on marriage for their financial well-being.
Young, newly married couples were encouraged to sever their family ties as well as put all their emotional as well as financial eggs within the tiny basket of the immediate nuclear family. Women were told by experts of which all their energies should be used for their husbands as well as children, not aging parents as well as additional relatives. Psychiatrist Edward Strecker as well as various colleagues argued American boys were infantilized as well as emasculated by women who were old-fashioned “moms” instead of modern “mothers”.
Modern mothers placed their parents in nursing homes; old-fashioned mothers took their parents in at the expense of their own “important” nuclear family. A modern mother was not supposed to have friends, a job, or anything or anyone of which might take attention via her husband as well as children. She was also supposed to grant early independence to her male child. the item is actually no wonder of which many women who believed in This particular advice as well as put the item into practice ending up abusing alcohol or tranquilizers over the course of the decade.
Women were encouraged to confine themselves to a very narrow definition of “true” womanhood by a variety of sources such as family education specialists as well as marriage counselors, columns in women’s magazines, government pamphlets, as well as above all television. These experts told women during the 1950s of which their greatest role on the planet was to be wives as well as mothers. The role of a “real” woman was to have no interest in a higher education or a career as well as women were taught by these experts to pity women who had the nerve to want a life beyond being a wife as well as mother.
Televisions shows such as Donna Reed, Ozzie as well as Harriet, Leave the item to Beaver, as well as Father Knows Best showed women how much easier their lives might be if their families were like those families as well as the I Love Lucy show warned women about the perils of what happened to a woman who wanted a career or if she schemed behind her husband’s back (Coontz 38), The mothers on Leave the item to Beaver as well as Ozzie as well as Harriet were immaculately dressed with pearls around their necks. Their homes were clean as well as their children never got into trouble. However, on I Love Lucy, Lucy usually looked terrible by the end of the episode. Her hair was at times standing on top of her head as well as her clothes filthy via her weekly adventure. Women as well as their families watched these shows as well as tried their best to emulate the perfect as well as bright lives shown to them on a weekly basis.
However, towards the end of the 1950s, a dramatic shift occurred. Cultural values changed dramatically as well as the children of these women found the social immortality of their parents sickening. Many young adults as well as their mothers might march within the streets to protest against sexism, racism, as well as militarism. Minorities as well as women began to receive the civil rights of which were rightfully due to them as well as more as well as more women entered the workforce, forcing a dynamic shift in childrearing practices. By the 1970s, husbands as well as wives had begun to share household duties as well as women were no longer bound to their homes.
The concept of family has changed as well as sometimes the item was for the best, sometimes for the worst. Although women have more rights, divorce is actually commonplace in our current society as well as many children live in one-parent households. Women are still discriminated against in American society as well as some us still do the majority of household work regardless of how many hours we work per week or if we have a house-husband. nevertheless we today have opportunities of which might not have been imagined fifty-years ago. Children do not have to see their mothers treated like chattel as well as we almost had a female President of the United States. Nothing remains the same – ever. The constantly changing landscape of the American family owes a lot to the women of the 1950s.