Social Institutions over Time and Formal Organizations

The rational world is very different from the traditional society in various respects. The traditional society is characterized by indigenous and ancient cultural orientations. However, technological advancements in the rational world have rendered extinct simple and primitive division of labor in the traditional society, which was based age and sex (Tiemann 10, 23). In the rational world, there is complex division of labor based on specialization and professional training. The rational world is also characterized by organic solidarity as opposed to the traditional society which is based on mechanical solidarity with strong connection to kinship relations. The rational world is more materialistic and based on formal social control whereas the traditional society was founded on informal structures of social control and a strong sense of collectivism. 

The institution of the family has greatly changed over the last 40 years. For example, the size of households has continued to decline with time. This is partly because of empowerment of women through education and modern family planning techniques. Besides, nuclear family has replaced the traditional extended family system that was based on kinship relations. There is significant reversal in family roles in the present family as women become family heads, breadwinners and participate actively in formal employment (Tiemann 12-13). In the modern family roles are divided based on the availability of an individual member of the family. For example, as more women get involved in education and formal employment, men have had to sometimes be baby-sitters and prepare meals for the family and undertake other domestic chores, a role that was initially the preserve of women. 

The structure of the family has greatly changed in the past 40 years. For example, there are increasing cases of single parent families with either the mother or the father. This can be attributed to the high rates of divorce in the modern family compared to the traditional family (Tiemann 19).  As a result of emancipation and modernity, marriage in the modern society is more formally contractual. Either of the parties to this contract can file a case for its termination in case of discomfort. As result, children have ended being brought up by single parents in case of divorce.

Children are the worst hit victims of divorce. This is partly because of the lost child-care from both parents. In some cases, children have to stay away from one or both parents exposing them to the risk of lost parental care and support (Emery 43). Divorce causes great depression on children as they struggle with emotional turmoil of having to stay away from one or both parents. The frustration that divorce exposes children to may make others to be very aggressive even if they were not initially (Tiemann 19-20). This can be emotional, verbal or even physical aggression. Physically, studies have indicated that children with divorced parents tended to have poor physical health when compared to those from stable and complete families. In the long term, children who are victims of divorce are likely to divorce as adults (Emery 34).

 Children of divorce often find it difficult to form social relationships (Emery 40). Besides, children victims of divorce are likely to develop delinquent attitudes and behaviors. For the two income families, the parents may be required by law to give part of their income or wealth towards the support of the children who may be under the care one of the parents.

On a general note, the world and the family are in a ceaseless conflict especially because of the changing values of the world caused by modernity. Education, technological advancement and secularization have impacted on the institution of the family. These forces have come with new values and beliefs that conflict the initial values and structure of the family. In this battle, the world is unfortunately triumphing against the family. This is because of its powerful agents like technology that has promoted socio-cultural integration and erosion of initial family values through globalization.  Education has also significantly emancipated the society to the detriment of the family. 

Order now

Related essays