Monday, February 27, 2012

The Evolution of Dating

     Today’s class discussion was focussed on dating. I think that dating has changed a lot in the past hundred years, although I would not say that that is a good or a bad thing. I think that as our society has developed, our dating practices have changed drastically yet at the same time the hint of old traditions continue to exist. The introduction of feminism had a major impact on dating, in my opinion. The women used to have little involvement in the prospect of planning a date, but today many women are unafraid to be the one to ask a man on a date or even plan the night’s activities. I think that the age at which people are willing to settle down has also changed the ways that we view dating. Young people used to meet each other at dances that were specifically planned for them to mingle and potentially find a partner. Nowadays, many people are not willing to settle down so young- they want to finish school and/or establish a career before they worry about finding a partner. While a lot of dating is still sparked at social establishments, there are still a lot of people who have grown out of the ‘bar scene’ but are still looking for that special someone. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thoroughly Modern Marriage

     I am going to be honest, some of the couples in the documentary that we watched today, Thoroughly Modern Marriage, absolutely shocked me. The one that got me the most was the couple that shared their practice of an open marriage. This is something that I have heard about before, but never in real life and I have never heard anyone openly support it. Having had the chance to discuss and think about it, I do not actually have a problem with it being practiced by someone else. In fact I would be curious to learn more about it and ask questions about their decision. Yet I can also say without a doubt in the world that it is not something that is for me. I suppose that it is to do with being from a traditional family, but I am someone who believes in marriage and what it stands for. I think that if you are not willing to give yourself wholly and fully to your partner, then you have no business getting married. Open marriage goes against everything that marriage stands for, in fact the term itself sounds to me like a complete contradiction. I would not judge a couple for being in an open marriage, but I have no desire to try it for myself.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Family vs. State

     Today we learned about the 3 types of families that Zimmerman came up with. He talked about the trustee family, the atomistic family, and the domestic family. I found this subject very interesting, especially his idea that when the family is strong, the state is weak (and vice versa). I had never considered this before, but now I am sure that he is right. In the case of a society with a trustee family trend, the state is bound to be weak because they have little responsibility and therefore little control. In the case of a society with an atomistic family trend, the state will be strong because it has to be to support the people, but the individual family is quite weak. I think that there are certain issues that must be dealt with by the family, and other issues that must be dealt with by the state. Though the family may be strong and the state weak, there is no way for the family to stay indefinitely strong without eventually requiring outside help. For example, in the case of a serious medical emergency a family can do the best they can, but they have a weakness in this situation that they cannot solve on their own. In a true trustee family society, a very ill person will have to care of a trained healthcare person in their extended family; however they will not be provided the same care that a large hospital funded by the state could give them. I think that the solution to this is a society of domestic families. If both the family and the state have a portion of the responsibility and control, then both can be strong. In fact I think that by working together, the family and the state are both stronger than they would have been on their own because together they fill in the gaps that the other left out. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Intergenerational Change

     The discussion in class today focussed on intergenerational continuity and change. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I come from a pretty traditional family. In fact from what I have been told, the family I grew up with is nearly identical to the one that my father grew up with, and likely the one that my grandfather grew up with as well. The men in my family come from a long line of traditional, strict, and stubborn farmers. My father has great respect for my grandfather and that way that he was raised, and he carries on an identical parenting routine with my brother and I. My brother sees my father in the same way, and I am positive that when my brother has a family of his own the cycle will continue. I find it very interesting however, that both of my aunts (my father’s sisters) have family routines much different from the ones that they were raised in. Similarly, I have never had any intention in following in my father’s footsteps and raising my own children the way that I was raised. I have always wondered if this is a matter of personal opinion or if it is a gender difference. I cannot help but think that it is too much to be coincidence and is fact a matter of how females are treated in our traditional family. I personally do not feel like I was treated badly as a female; however there are certainly specific gender roles within my family that do not cross. I hope that when I have a family of my own I am able to teach my children that even though many traditions from the past, such as respecting your elders, are still very important in our modern society. At the same time, I want my children to value gender equality and put less focus on specific gender roles than my parents did for me.