In Search of the Traditional Family
For decades, television has portrayed their version of the traditional family. By observing these traditional families we identify how society has changed as well as what became the norm. Traditional families have changed since the fifties, that is to say the father worked, and the mother takes care of the home and the children.
One such television family is the Anderson’s (1954 -1958). Jim Anderson work as a manager of an insurance company while Margaret maintained the home and took care of their three children Betty, James, and Kathy. Take note of the clothing they wore in comparison to today, the women and girls wore dresses the men wore suites and the boys white shirts and slacks. It was tradition for families to sit together for meals such as breakfast and dinner. Traditional families both real life and television life in the fifties seemed to show more of a moral standard a degree of diversity in comparison to the nuclear families such as the (Sopranos).
Traditionally children grew up with two parents of a stable marriage, today however, divorce has increased within society and again television shows such as “Judging Amy” depicts what is it does to a family to be a divorced career woman . It has been suggested that children from divorced families will likely consider divorce themselves. (Amato, 2001)
Family conversations and cultural teachings have changed as well, during the era of the Anderson’s families didn’t talk openly about [what was considered private or controversial] such as birth control and abortion it wasn’t until after the show Maude (1972) that families began to talk more openly. Time has illustrated the traditional family has changed from the suburbs “Anderson’s” to families with parents both working, to single parents which has emerged within our society, we live in today. Still we may still ponder as to what is a traditional family could the answer be in the next family television show.