Society - Family Life in the U.S.



Families are the bedrock of all societies. They can comprise anywhere from a small group to scores of individuals, and range from simple structures -- such as a married couple and one child under one roof -- to intricately complex, multigenerational combinations, living in one or more households. Invariably, as a society evolves, so does the family structure. With the modification of other factors -- for example, life expectancy, or attitudes towards adoption -- the impact on the family is telling.

The traditional structure of the American family - mother, father and children - continues to prevail for the most part as a new century unfolds. Yet, over the past several decades, U.S. society has witnessed an evolution in family structure and daily life in many respects, because of myriad factors, running the gamut from advancements in science to the composition of the workplace. Single parenthood, adoptive households, step-parenting, stay-at-home fathers, grandparents raising children are but a few of the newer tiles in the mosaic.

- Abridged from State Dept. Publications and other U.S. government materials
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[Last Updated: 12/9/2010]
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