Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
One of the most contentious issues facing us today is the impact of changing norms and values on the bedrock of society: the family. The structure of the family has changed significantly over the past 50 years, so much so that it is often difficult for both individuals and social institutions to keep up and adapt. Replacing the traditional breadwinner-homemaker model that at one time epitomized the family are a multitude of family forms—single-parent households, stepfamilies, cohabitating couples, extended and multigenerational families, same-sex partnerships, and grandparents raising grandchildren. In response to these changes, some bemoan the demise and decline of the nuclear family and push for the promotion of marriage as salvation, whereas others see an opportunity for wider acceptance of diversity in family households and advocate for public policy to accommodate families in all shapes and sizes. So, how did we get to this crossroads, in feeling that we ...