The End of the Traditional Family
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
The current family worldwide is facing great challenges such as poverty, marginalization, different roles and cultural changes. The traditional role of the woman as housewife, wife and mother has almost completely disappeared. In the not too distant past the idea of a woman working was frowned upon because her role as a mother was highly valued while it was thought that the fundamental role of the male was to provide financial support for the home.
Unemployment and low wages today have led to the breakdown of the family, although this may be a positive way to obtain better financial resources for the working class. Cultural changes have also been important factors that have transformed family life. Families had greater economic and social stability when they adhered to a culture that was faithful to their traditions. Nowadays, the relationship between the generations within a family is becoming uncertain and confusing. As a result parents are facing problems with how to maintain their authority in a society that gives more space to children and young people.
In current social discourse there is fear about the decline of traditional families, while there is an increasing desire by young people to form their own families and by adults to keep living as a family. It is clear that there is a marked decline in traditional values and an increase in the number of divorces, although it is still clear that the most important point of refuge for all people is still the family.
That is why it is not clear why nowadays one sees the family being neglected at a time when the importance of its institutions such as marriage, health, education and divorce has been downplayed. It is difficult to understand the origin of these current crises in the family by going from obscurantism to fact-finding while trying to explain the root cause of its current crisis without basic information.
The family of today must be analyzed in the light of the historical moment to which it belongs given that the logic of contemporary life has stopped focusing on homogeneous and well-defined ideals that characterized the family in times past. These have been replaced by demystification, individualism and risk as manifested in pleasure, mass consumption, splits and instability now prevailing in the home. So when the breakdown of the tradition-based family model occurred the individual and the family were forced to become grounded in themselves.
Now contemporary families with young adolescent children have lost to a very large extent the emotional ties found in traditional families and their relationships have become more distant and cold. At the same time digital devices and new communication technologies have been creating a network that separates parents from children and grandchildren who only a generation ago were the essence of the traditional family.
Addendum: If we add to this new chain of breakup of the family the divisions created by nationalisms, the xenophobic, misogynist and narcissistic actions of supremacist groups, as well as the groups without ideologies and beliefs, and the political and cultural programs that try to control the bulk of the population of a country, there is no doubt that soon the traditional family will only be historical fiction, a movie or a novel that will be broadcast on television and film networks, where family members will barely see each other or they will talk to each other from time to time, without conveying even one of their personal feelings.