March 2, 2015
What is family? Researching the concept of family in North America, a commonly used definition is looking at a "traditional" family which includes father, mother, and their children. “It is a conception of the family as a legally married couple sharing a household. The adult male is in paid employment; his earnings provide the economic basis of the family-household. The adult female may also earn an income, but her primary responsibility is to the care of husband, household, and children.” (Smith, 1993). Today the way I would define my family is very different as what is stated above. I have family in which I am biologically related to and I have family whom I relate to with no relation biologically. Within the research of my family history, I have found many interesting changes within the patters of family structure, employment, social location and family bonding. Throughout this paper, I will expand upon these four areas and identify way of how they have all impacted how family is seen in my life today. As well, I will be focusing only on my mother’s side of the family since I do not have any contact with my father. The focus of this paper will concentrate on the females of the family since the change within society of gender roles is a theme within my family’s history.
Within my family’s history the employment opportunities have changed drastically in regards to the gender roles. “In all societies women are the prime carers…and do most of the domestic tasks. Women's lives are greatly affected by reproduction, which has an incisive and direct impact on their health and on their educational, employment and earning opportunities” (Economic and Social Development Department, 2001). The era that my maternal grandmother was born into, the women’s role was to be the home makers of the family. In early adolescents she as forced to drop out of school to help her mother with house hold chores but, her brother was not forced to drop out. This can be an indicator of how genders were perceived in this time. In her early twenties she became a secretary which is very common within this time. A few years after my maternal grandparents were married they had their first child which was my mother. My maternal grandmother stayed at home taking care of my mother and soon to be two other children. My mother attended primary and secondary school. She did not attend the 13th year of secondary school. This was her choice. My mother afterwards attended College at Seneca at York in the Social Service Worker program as I am in now. After words she transferred to York to major in Psychology. Her graduating from primary, secondary, college and then university was a change of what women in the generations before her had done. My mother worked for the Israeli Embassy for many years. My maternal grandfather was a business man and my mother carried on with the skill later on in her 40’s. She has now opened her own dog boarding and dog walking business. With this being said, I am following my mother’s footsteps and going into the same field she did education in. I am not sure if I will follow the business path but, it is a possibility. Analyzing my family’s employment and education paths there have been changes with the roles the women are having. Expectations in society have changed and to have better job today, one needs education to do so.
The dictionary defines a bond as “something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together” (Dictionary.com, 2005). This definition relates to my maternal grandmother and mothers family bonding but the change happened within my life. Growing up my maternal grandmother was brought up in a family setting where they sat down for dinner every night, had family outings and more. This brought her family very close together. The boundaries her parents made with their children was appropriate and what I feel as a