Blog Assignment #1 The Myth of the Model Family

Harmony at Home
The Myth of the Model Family

Read the following narratives :

"Looking For Work' Gary Soto 
https://literatureofethnicgroups.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/soto-looking-for-work.pdf
"What We Really Miss About the 1950's" Stephanie Coontz
Read Chapter 2




The cultural myth of the model family has endured over time. In response to the readings above, How can the  myth of the model family have maintained itself in the face of diversity, complications and problems it ignores?
Tolstoy wrote that happy families are alike but that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Articulate in your blog responses your own views on this cultural myths endurance and Tolstoy's statement.

18 comments:

  1. The model family is supposed to be a happy family with both a mother, and a father, as well as one or two children. Over time that has changed because a family could be happy with no children, a lot of children, two fathers, or two mothers, or even other family members raising children. This idea of a perfect family ignores the fact that not every family is the same, and that not every family is perfect and happy. This myth however has been able to last for so long because although people know that the perfect family doesn't exist they like to hope that it does, an that it can give people something to try and become.

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    1. DAvid make sure to review the samples of complete blog assignments I mentioned in class today and I would complete this fully in order to obtain full credit.

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  3. My name is Saurabh Subash chand

    Starting from ancient times and right up to present age,family has been important always proving that man is a “Social Animal”.In the 1950’s,the ideal family was a father,a mother and two offsprings.Here father is the bread winner and mom a home maker.The family values might have changed over time but still there is a bond which has kept them strong together.The Model family now offers a sense of belonging in troubling times.

    The myth of a Model family, inspite of the diversities has remained strong retaining the moral values and ideals which are regarded as high and are the signs of culture.The nature of a nuclear family helps develop personal character and values that contribute to individual decision making.

    Some also believe that Family is a dying institution that has no place in the modern life.But I would like to say that similar thoughts would make happier families proving Tolstoy’s opinion that a person who tries to be happy in all situations will surely find happiness alike the person who keeps grumbling always will for sure never be able to find happiness.The gap between the rich and the poor cannot be filled but a person although poor who is satisfied with what he has will remain happy in all situations.

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  4. Ram Rakkappan

    Gary Soto’s ‘Looking for Work’ is a story of a nine year old boy who has a dream to have a model family like the one he watches in the American television shows but his family is a working class who have so much inferiority as Whites doesn’t accept them because of their low income and low quality life. The 9 year old boy Gary wants his family to become a middle class family so he gets ready to work but his family finds it strange.


    Despite the diversities faced by the family they still were happy, they had no extravagant hopes to approaching the middle class. They didn’t have any idea about making friends with the White people. Their only hopes and focus were put into their kids to get a better life is all they wanted.


    When the whole family was happy with what they had, the boy was unhappy in his own way.

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  5. Name: Mariam Bacchus
    "What We Really Miss About the 1950's" by Stephanie Coontz discusses how many people believe the 1950s were the golden time for having secure families. Coontz explains her observations through the connection of history and believing the 1950s were the ideal time for perfect families. Coontz states “... they were buried by the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s. During the 1930s domestic violence soared; divorce rates fell, but informal separations jumped; fertility plummeted.” This statement portrays that due to the economic and social downfall of the decades before, the 50s many have seemed like a Godsend. Coontz also displayed that entertainment many have contributed to these beliefs. She states “In Marty, one of the most highly praised TV plays and movies of the 1950s, the hero almost loses his chance at love by listening to the carping of his mother and aunt and letting himself be influenced by old friends who resent the time he spends with his new girlfriend.” Coontz shows how the myth of the perfect family may have perpetuated in the 1950s.
    Gary Soto’s “Looking for Work” describes a boy’s dream to have a normal and perfect family. This narrative discusses the boy’s need to have a perfect family and how he imagines instances of his day would be if he was granted this desire. Soto states “Such was our life. So that morning, while doing-in the train of ants which arrived each day, I decided to become wealthy, and right away!” In order to become wealthy the boy goes around his neighborhood looking for small jobs to complete, in exchange for money. He decides to complete these tasks to distract himself from his need to act like a perfect family. The boy’s belief that he needs a perfect family stems from the television shows he watches and his own personal familial problems.
    I disagree that most people believe in the myth of the model family. This myth started with society attempting to mask issues within its own community. For example, the female role in society, as a whole, was downplayed, particularly after World War II when women were encouraged to go back to their original cliches.
    In order to understand Tolstoy’s statement it is imperative that you understand that happiness is relative. Someone may feel happiness differently or in different amounts than another individual. Therefore, happy families may feel unhappy with other aspects of their lives and vise versa. Furthermore, families can not feel happiness constantly, as well as unhappy families.

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  6. Joanna Cuenca

    Through the course of the years the cultural myth of the “model family” has been evolving. As many crucial events have taken place in America to shift what the typical “model family” is supposed to look like. After postwar many young individuals saw the difference of their family structured changed and traditional factors that they did not agree with,” Young couples moved away from parents and kin, cutting ties with traditional extrafamilial networks that might compete for their attention. A critical factor in this trend was the emergence of a group of family sociologists and marriage counselors who followed Talcott Parsons in claiming that the nuclear family, built on a sharp division of labor between husband and wife, was the cornerstone of modern society.” Many young individuals did not see eye to eye in the traditional viewpoints of having only the male as the “breadwinner” and the women’s as “stay at home moms” and always complacent with everything without hesitation. Many of the “model family” took most of their viewpoint from television shows that supported their morals and optimism, “The call for young couples to break from their parents and youthful friends was a consistent theme in 1950s popular culture”. These shows that have taken a major toll on the “model family” and how the viewed their lifestyle compared to the nuclear family they’re used to. It also helps alleviate that they weren’t alone in their decision making since it wasn’t the traditional lifestyle, they were custom to.

    To maximize the difficulty to the “model family” had to achieve throughout the years through diversity has not been an easier road to understand and accept compared to the traditional family with old viewpoints. As the young individuals become a little bit more open minded the racial discrimination and morals remained strong “the stick of racism, sexism, and repression., many people forget that families continued to make gains throughout the 1960s and into the first few years of the 1970s. The nuclear family has made astonishing achievement to help regulate their own individuality and morals throughout the years.

    Family is a complex term that regulates a different meaning for each family. Tolstoy once said,” that happy families are alike but that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Each family has their own morals on what makes them happy since each have different dislikes and likes. But even as a happy family disagreement are bound to happen regardless. Needless to say, each family have different issues that only pertains to them.

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  7. Mikayla Henderson

    The myth model family has been deemed socially adequate when a household contains a 2-parent household and the 2 perfect children, where the dad goes to work every day to provide the means to maintain his happy family, while the mother stays home with the children and does all the work around the house. When asked people prefer the “happy” stereo type of the model family but yearn for more equality between women, men and children. While families range in all races, sizes and social classes now a day’s households dream to be like the “model” family because of the nostalgia behind the decade where the normal everyday family didn’t face “troubles” and seemed like the “perfect” family after the great depression, but in reality, women were treated unequally. Inside homes husbands and wives would argue and children would fight.

    Even in a time like 2021 the “model” family is idolized and desired by thousands maybe even millions. Even tv shows portray families with 2 parents and 2 children as a way to modernize the model family. Happiness isn’t always reached through riches it depends on the level of satisfaction you have reached in your life. Happiness isn’t obtained through wealth, while it can buy you a big house, and many possessions it can’t buy happiness. While many might be poor and at the bottom of the social class, they may be happier than the richest man on earth and have a loving home and family no matter the circumstances they are in, because they reached a certain point of realization and satisfaction in their lives that the model family isn’t 100 percent obtainable always.

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  8. James Kwarta

    The myths of the model family has been shown as having no flaws. A model family is looked at as a family that has two loving parents who live in a comfortable home with a few children. The kids live good lives and receive education as the father goes off to work while they get taken care of by the stay at home mother. The flaws of these model households were ignored as women did not have equal rights as men, and men were the only ones able to make money. Fighting between significant others and siblings were never actions the model family were sought to take part in.

    The article portrays a black family who struggles financially and can not afford materialistic items like they see the white families have on television. All the siblings get along and talk nice to one another at the dinner table, while the article shows the reality of laughing and pointing utensils at one another. To be considered a happy family you must be financially stable, have enough kids, and have two parents who either make money or provide for the children. Unhappy families who are seen as the opposite of a model family all vary in issues that make them unhappy.

    Tolstoy explains how happiness does not come from materialistic things and beliefs, but comes from when a person is happy with what they have and does not seek to be like anybody else. Even if that other person is rich, a different skin tone, or has the "perfect" family.

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  9. Ponelarajan Elavarasan

    There are many Different social class are in the serious problems, races,cultures , income and gender are all reasons to produce it. Have you ever wanted to live the perfect life where you were rich, having a home and a kind family Well in Gary Soto's "Looking for Work" that is exactly how he would want his family to live. In the story Soto, a young Hispanic child wishes he could live a happy and luxurious life. Soto tells us in his story how maybe living in a rich society would probably make his family's life much easier and happier.

    Gary Soto did not have time, energy, or money to engage in activities shown in the 1950’s sitcoms. The author points out the little differences between the “comfortable lives of white kids. However his family is labeled by race and salary instead of joy and love in a unified family. Through his experience growing up, Soto reveals to us that growing up at that specific time, being envious was a great thing to him. Gary Soto wanted to try and be like the families of the TV show that he always watched. He even tried to convince his siblings to wear shows to dinner and improve their appearance so that white people would appreciate Hispanics more. From the story we can imply that this nine year old boy loves in an okay neighborhood it may not be Los Angles but it's a fairly nice area. He goes and does unusual jobs for his neighbors he seems to be a kind, loving person and is concerned of the well being of his loved ones.

    My family is my life, and everything else comes second as far as what's important to me. To sum up, Gary Soto writes this short story from the view of a young nine year old Mexican American boy, who only wants to have the perfect family so that people will like him better.

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  10. Akshith Ramesh
    English 101

    Can you live in this monstrous society, immortal , corrupt and all the rest of it with complete honesty for myself ?
    Of course you can. So you have to ask what is society? Is society different from me or I am the society ?
    Obviously I am the society. I have created this awful things, I am part of it and in no way society is different from me. So, I dont reform the outer circle (social reform), you know, all the political game that's going on. First, I put my house in order, deeply my house in order and then there will be order out there. But putting up in order can't be done alone , we need our family on hands over it because always from our childhood , all the basics we learn is not from the school , it's from the family we grow. We look upon to our parents to survive on this society. So if we create an order in our own house, thus we form a new society.

    Comparing the kids that grew in the 1950's to the kids now, those kids today, they are a whole different breed. There's no hope for them. However researches show that those kids who grew up without a mentor, always wanted one because they understand the power of mentoring. Here is where the cultural myth of the model family has endured over time but despite these odds of diversity and complications yet they balance on the thread as women have also started to become the breadwinners and men being the homemaker.

    From Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel Anna Karenina, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." In which he means families that share a common characteristics stay happy and those families with unique characteristics stay unhappy. Fretting about "fair" and "unfair" is always tempting, but a constructive way to deal with unfair circumstances may be less effective than deciding.

    In conclusion, the journey of family gives us much opportunity to be someone's rainbow and it's the most prideful feeling by looking our efforts to be reflected as success to the family. May be that's the way of bringing the 1950's feel of society where people actually cherished each of their moments rather than running for financial backups like now.

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  11. Donato Zarro
    I believe that the cultural myths are less believed today I believe that people are raised and told about what the world is now and that there is no perfect family like there was back in the 1950s now it is believed that the perfect family is just a happy family and a family could be anything these days from two people from the same gender to two people from different races and back rounds so I believe that there is no perfect family only one that you can envision and just what makes you happy.

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  12. David Hong
    The myth of a model family is often seen as a family where the father brings food to the table, the mother cooks and cleans, and there are one or two children. The myth of the model family has been maintained over the years because people try to achieve that "model" family. In Gary Soto's "Looking For Work", it is a story about a nine-year-old's vision of a "model" or "perfect" family and his desire to achieve this in his own family. However, the dream he envisions is totally opposite of his own family's reality. There is no mention of his father anywhere in the story and it seems like his mother is the one who has the authority in the family and brings food to the table, in addition to the fact that there are three children in the family which makes it even harder on the sole parent. Though they are not the perfect family, it is shown that they are happy and enjoy themselves. I agree with what Tolstoy said about happy and unhappy families, since unhappy families may each have their own issues. While happy families, in my opinion, all have selfless love towards each other and are thankful for who and what they have instead of taking things for granted. And families can be happy whether they are rich or poor.

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  13. So what exactly is the model family. The myth of the model family has been around for quite some time. The myth of the model family consists of a father and a mother. These are not the only pieces that the myth of the model family consists of. It also includes their two children. The structure of the model family goes as follows. The father goes to work to bring in income and provide for his family while the mother of the family would be at home to clean and keep everything tidy which is what we understand to be a stay at home mother. While these two things are happening the children are supposed to enjoy their lives while getting their education until they too are ready to start their own families. Along with these aspects come with the sense of happiness that flows around this myth of a model family. The myth of the model family is what everyone sought after but is it really what it seems.

    In today’s society people have grown to be more vocal and persistent. The myth of the model family has its problems but the most prevalent one is the non equality. Why should the man go out and work but not the women. So with it’s fair share of issues how has the world allowed this myth of the model family continue on and on again. The “model family” is seen in our lives much more than we may think. It is seen on plenty of platforms across the world such as movies, tv shows, and even commercials. Wherever they can try to fit this myth of the model family in they will take it. So exactly how has it continued to stay around well they make the family look happy. That’s all there really is to it. When we see this “model family” we understand that there are issues and flaws to it but the main thing we focus our attention on is their happiness. The myth of the model family is always depicted as happy and easy going so when we see it in front of us we think to ourselves that we want a family like that. This is how this myth has kept itself afloat for so long.

    A family is not what the media and other people tell us it should be it’s what we feel is right for us. A family is about love for one another. It’s about respect for one each other. It’s about having to sacrifice for someone else because you know they would do it for you. Tolstoy says that a happy family isn’t the result of wealth objects or anything of that sort. It’s about being yourselves having your own family traditions and this is how happy families are similar. They don’t try to be any other family they try to be their own and that’s what it’s all about.

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  14. Chandra Swaroop Reddy
    English 101

    The model family is all about love, caring, providing security and a sense of belonging for the other family members. Generally a model family is of a father who gets food to the table, a mother who takes care of the home, and their biological children. What's on the floor, though, isn't always as it looks. While exploring this yearning for the past, coontz brings to light the difficulties of attempting to imitate those presents of a lifestyle, they strive to get over whatever family dysfunction they have by trying to achieve this degree of social perfection.

    To justify the myth of the model family have maintained itself in the face of diversity, compilations and problems it ignores, the role of women in this period was something that I found quite fascinating. These women worked in factories during the 1940s and kept their family together as men went to war, but this changed after their husbands returned. The men returned home to women who had improved in their absence and instead of embracing it and seeking to expand on it, they decided to reduced to the role of housewife.

    On the final thought, why do people favour the 1950s so much? It was a time of tremendous economic growth, a time in which the need for school was less stressed and without it, one might become a star, but these things did not come without a cost. The extent of ignorance necessary to make these gains was much too high.

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  15. Elizabeth shields

    Gary Soto’s “looking for work” is a story of a nine year old who dreamed of having the perfect model family just like in the shows he watched on his television. But his family faces many difficulties with diversity and such while being in the working middle class. While the model family shows a father as the one making all the income and and the mother being home raising the kids, in a difficulty that they face being the middle working class, this is not the case.

    Although this article portrays the live of a working middle class black family that’s struggling financially it’s gets across the point that there is no model family. No ones life is perfect. This ideology is a model family “perfect life” is fictional. The idea of being financially stable while living a perfectly normal life is slim to none. Model families are a fictional representation of what a house hold is meant to look like. A father who financially stabilizes the homes income, a mother who is home raising the kids and have two children. This is not an accurate representation of what the average working middle class is like, which makes it seem like they are very unhappy.

    But Tolstoy depicts happiness not just evolving from materialistic items beliefs but, thriving on ones own internal happiness making the best and being grateful for what they have. Even if there comparing themselves to someone of different race, different financial status, or there “perfect” model lives.

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