What We Really Miss About The 1950s Stephanie Coontz Essay

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1. According to Coontz, what we really miss about the 1950’s is that it provided are more family-oriented economic and social environment that gave individuals the sense of long-term prosperity 5 . We don’t miss all the racial and gender inequalities of the time, in addition to the spousal abuse and incest that occurred under the radar. 2. The government played a significant role in the lives of Americans, mainly through welfare programs. Veterans received a lot of benefits, minimum wage was more than enough for families to live off, public works projects kept many people employed, higher education was subsidized by the government, and government-run loan companies helped families buy houses. The 1950’s seem like a better time because it was the first prosperous era after the Great Depression and World War 2. It was also the first time families became more nuclear and segregated, which allowed for a more family-oriented lifestyle. 4. The myth of the modern family still loosely sticks to our society. However, events like same-sex marriages are challenging the heterosexual relationships presented by this myth. Over the past couple decades, gender equality in households has increased. Also, children are treated more as independent individuals who have a voice in the household. Furthermore, the ideal modern family is no longer just Christian, but includes all races. 5 Colombo p.33


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