Marriage & Family-Homework Answer


For this paper, you will be reading the following article, “Patriarchy, Power, and Pay: The Transformation of American Families, 1800 – 2015” by Steven Ruggles. You can access this reading in the “files” tab on Canvas.

The paper is due by 11:59pm on Friday, April 16. You will submit your final paper through Canvas.

You can find this article in the “Readings” folder on Canvas.

Here are some tips to help you read the article and write your paper (you can find the guidelines for the paper in the assignments section of Canvas).

Question 1: How has the structure of American families changed from 1800 until 2015?

For this question, focus on the following image. It outlines Ruggles’ eras of American family life in visual format.

From this image you can see that Ruggles says there was an era when corporate families were dominant, an era where male breadwinner families were dominant, and an era when dual earner families were dominant. For question #1, describe these three family types.

Question 2: What factor or factors account for these changes?

As you read through the article, you will see that for Ruggles it is all about the way that the family and the economy interact. So to answer this question, focus on the section of the article with the heading The Rise of Male Wage Labor (starting on page 5 of the article) and The Rise of Female Wage Labor (starting on page 7 of the article).

Question 3: How did these changes alter power relations within families?

For this question think about how money can change the power dynamics within a family. The person in the family who is brining in the money often has the most power within the family.

When wealth came from land, the patriarch who owned the land had the money and thus had the power.

When young men started working for wages, the patriarch lost some power and the young men who were earning money by working in factories gained some power – there was a generational shift.

When women entered the labor force, women gained more economic independence. As women gained more control over family finances, men lost some of their power and women gained some power within families – there was a gender shift.

At the end of the second paragraph on page 11 of the article, you will see the following statement, which I think sums up how power relations were altered as families changed:

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