There exists some fundamental differences between the 21st century American family and the 19th Century or early 20th Century American family. In sociological, political fronts, issues ranging from racism to cold war characterized the American family of the 1963. Eating habits were different and were influenced by economic activities as was the transport means commonly in use then. Back then, the typical American family was mostly made up of parents and children with a high affiliation to the extended family compared to today’s family.
Back then the gender equity debate had not gained prominence. The male was widely considered as the sole bread winner and very few women compared to today were working although it is around this time that there was an upsurge in the number of women pursuing career lives. The American nation was back then an industrial power and therefore tasks for a husband included working in the industries, participating in various political meetings then dominated by the segregation debate. Depending on personal interest, political movements were something the ordinary American would participate in.
Major cities in America had started experiencing transportation crisis by 1963, which means the average American was not walking to work as they owned automobiles especially those in the urban settings [Wilentz, 1984. 436-440]. The road transport was one of the widely used means of transport although for movement further outside the major cities, railway transport was a major transport mode. Air transport was not widely used as it is today, as the aviation industry was still not very developed.
In the 1960s most women and indeed the girl child was not treated the same way as men by the society. The girl child was viewed as fit for some professions. It was rare to get women competing in some fields like medicine or engineering and indeed the military. Women were constructed by the society as the weaker sex and only suitable for some professions such as nursing and education. The above can be attributed to the lack of strong forums for women to express themselves as well as lack of enough role models for the women.
The media back then played a very important role in the lives of the Americans, by 1963, most families owned television sets. Although the flow of news was not as swift and faster as it is the case today, nevertheless most Americans had access to radios and TVs. The limited flow of information into and out of the US meant that most families could not quite comprehend and therefore appreciate other cultures. The above can be attributed to the not so advanced technology as compared to today’s era of internet technology.
The education system in 1963 was not very different from what it is today although many amendments have been introduced to the education act. Overly the education system as it existed in 1963 left room for infiltration by racism and marginalization of the racial minorities. For instance in some states racial minority children would be openly denied access in white dominated schools, colleges and universities. Therefore where children would attend school largely depended on amongst others; social background.
Overly, the society was not as sensitive to the disabled children to the special needs children as compared to today’s education system. Famous music bands such as the Beatles spiced American entertainment lives. Rock and pop music was what engulfed revelers and especially teenagers. Cinema had also gained popularity as a source of entertainment in the USA. Under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, America was experiencing a lot of political, social, environmental and economic activities.
Generally, by 1963, the economy had shown signs of improvements and culturally people where having a more quality life. There were a lot of campaigns geared at fighting for total elimination of all forms of segregation something which often resulted into arrests of crusaders like Martin Luther King Junior. Back then getting admission to University was very much determined by one’s racial background. The year also saw the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 22 and the swearing of Lyndon Johnson as the 36th President of the USA.
It is worth noting that during this time, the country was just recovering from an economic depression suffered as a result of the world wars. Americans were awakening on matters like imperialism, civil rights and gender equality. Due to the ideological differences between the Soviet Union and the US a lot of government expenditure was directed towards military activity and covert missions something which might have influenced the onset of the Vietnam War. Americans are today faced with great nutritional problems, compared to 1963 the number of children who are obese and overweight is on the increase.
This is not a 21st century problem; it started in the 1960s although the popularity of fast foods has made it look like a 21st century problem. The most common foods back in 1963 included pizza, hamburger, chocolate, coffee for breakfast, and wines and spirits [Cavan, & Shonle1969, 79-99]. The children attended schools according to their parents’ abilities although public schools were the choice of majority as they were affordable compared to private schools. In the 1960s Americans had shifted from eating traditional foods to eating of processed foods something which can be attributed to busy lives.
There was an increase in obesity incidences in late 1960s, a problem which persists up to date. Of interest also is the fact that more Americans had started to use microwaves to cook, atleast not many used wood stoves. Since a significant portion of the population was still working in farms, fresh farm produce was in big supply and therefore most families included in their meals fresh vegetables, fresh meat, milk, poultry, eggs and butter. Soft drink intake also gained popularity as people became busier and fast food restaurants became very popular.
Due to mechanization of farming, food prices went down as the country become self sufficient in terms of food supply (Sanjur, 1995. 45-67). Also fruit and vegetable meals were common as more and more Americans began to appreciate health eating habits. Conclusion The American family has evolved a lot since 1963 up to date. Change is evident in the way people dress, eat, and the way they view the external world. A lot of the above changes have been occasioned by technological advancement, globalization and the advent of internet.
The economy has also grown a lot and today more American families earn above average in terms of finances meaning that they can afford a quality life. Works cited Cavan, & Shonle, R. The American Family. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co. , [1969. 79-99] Sanjur, D. Hipic Foodways, Nutrition, and Health. Boston . Allyn and Bacon. [1995. 45-67]. Wilentz, S. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class. New York: Oxford University Press. [1984. 436-440].
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