Focus of the Research Paper
The family is the oldest and most basic unit of any culture, providing for the vital survival needs of society--reproduction, protection, education, and labor. Social welfare, also a basic unit of society, becomes operational when other institutions, such as the family and the market economy, fail (Zastrow, 1986). According to the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (1975) the family is defined as two or more persons who share resources, share responsibility for decisions, share values and goals, and have a commitment to one another over time. The family is that climate that one comes home to and it is this network of sharing and commitments that most accurately describes the family unit, regardless of blood, legal ties, adoption, or marriage. Families in the United States are faced with many challenges both within the family and in the social environment. Historically, home has been seen for us as a haven in a heartless world. The following are some of the challenges many Americans face today.
High Levels of Stress, Materialism and Competition
“Whatever you’re doing,” one anonymous observer in our country once wryly noted, “it’s not enough.” The velocity of life in the U.S. appears to many people to be increasing exponentially, urging us to produce and consume and this creates high stress. Stress is directly related to change and the greater the change, the higher the level of stress.
Lack of Time for Oneself and One’s Family
According to family researchers in America, one of the most difficult qualities to develop in many American families is the ability to spend enjoyable time together. Not only do we find ourselves challenged by a busy and competitive social environment outside the home, but once we return home, we need time to unwind from a hectic day before reconnecting with others. In today’s society, the boundaries between the home and work are being blurred. As...