The Changing Nature of the Family

An evaluation of how family life and values have changed since World War II to the present.

This paper attempts to look at some of the changes in the family by comparing the modern family of today with the family of the post World War II generation. It does this by interviewing a women born post World War II and assessing the structure of the then family unit, the role of the parents and children and discipline. It compares attitudes to issues such as children born out of wedlock and adoption, then and now and shows how there are two characteristics of the modern society that account for most of the differences. Firstly, women are now working resulting in a two-income family becoming the norm and the high rate of divorce has led to a rise single-parent families.
“This can be compared to the modern treatment of children born out of wedlock and children being adopted out. Firstly, children being born out of wedlock is no longer a “sin” that needs to be hidden. Secondly, adoption is now treated very differently. Adoption no longer means giving up all claims to the child. Instead, the child could be raised aware of their biological parents. It is also important that it is an accepted part of the issue that children will one day find and meet their “real parents.” In contrast, the World War II parent was forced to give up all knowledge of their child.”