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Expectations in a Modern Family

Updated on October 3, 2015


It is not surprising to find that within the traditional family, roles as well as perceived responsibilities have been shown to have changed substantially in the past few decades. One way we can observe this rapid change in social behaviour is to view modern media such as online blog posts.

I feel this may be because blog posts or blogging can be considered more personal and could cause people to feel less inhibited in expressing their true feelings on a topic that they feel strongly about.

For that reason, the first thing I looked at was a blog post entitled “Don’t be guilted into making home-cooked meals every night” that seriously looks at the issue.

(Integrated view of components to demonstrate interlinked processes)
(Integrated view of components to demonstrate interlinked processes) | Source

What This Article Covers

  • First we will outline the cultural assumptions toward behaviour within a family unit.
  • And then move on to defining sociological imagination and how it is applicable in this context in regards to just how many people are impacted.
  • And then touch base on how, why and in what ways a family can be perceived as both a public and private institution.

Where Does This Article Lead

This is all to leading to the eventual conclusion that functions as both a summary of this article and an articulation of where the research eventually led me. Now let us begin with what can be said about traditional and modern cultural assumptions and community expectations. But most of all, we will see what can be said about personal struggle during this almost wasted efforts to attain an unrealistic ideal.

Live Results

Do you think it is an appropriate family tradition to have dinner as a family?

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Expectations vs Reality

In modern times the socially constructed assumption such as home cooked-meals denote stability, conformity and health are being challenged. In other words, it is expected that a stable, conformity and healthy family regularly sit down to dinner as a family. It is both understandable and not surprisingly that mothers who traditionally expected to cook for the family and this assumed cultural expectation is still predominant today.


Live Results

Do you think it is a realistic family tradition to have dinner as a family?

See results

Technological Advancement and Scheduling

However, as modern society has advanced, this traditional view is being revealed to be an increasingly unattainable fantasy rather than an attainable practical reality.

Individuals who attempt to attain this possibly ‘unrealistic’ goal of what it is to maintain a traditional family unit in modern times may put themselves at risk of experiencing ever increasing barriers from providing this claimed essential traditional experience and some are also relieved to know they are not alone in their struggles to provide this ever time consumming tradition.


Sociological Imagination and Magnitude

Sociological imagination used to identify trends in social structure found many families are affected by these modern issues. Modern day society has quickened in pace with people living busier more compact lives. As time goes on, naturally more families are influenced by a diverse and ever increasing modern pressures.



Sociologists take a special interest in this process and research the effects and implications of these impactful changes while bringing to light the reality of the private practice that is family. Additionally this continually emerging research into the private institution of family has shown common trends that can be considered quite public (like feeling the need to cook each night for example).

Sociologist Research

Sociologist proclaim that attempting to provide this once viewed optimal tea time setting can in fact be more hazards’ than healthy. They elaborate that “The emphasis on home cooking ignores the time pressures, financial constraints, and feeding challenges that shape the family meal”.


Where Is It All Heading?

It is agreed that new ideas and concepts need to be introduced to evolve the way families prepare and gather for meals such as readymade meals that can be prepared without excessive effort. This contrast to traditional views is an enlightening perspective calling for the need to change private traditions in order to progress with societal change and avoid negative repercussions.

Concluding Comments

This analysis has shown that social expectations are outdated and ill fit to account for modern practices and or expectations of behaviour in a family unit. Additionally it demonstrated that many individuals endure the same issues within this area of interest despite their perceived privacy or ‘aloneness’ within this ordeal.

Furthermore, it is clear that the institution of family must evolve and adapt its traditions to keep in pace with a faster more demanding society. While also managing to eliminate the need to feel like they are compromising, selfish or non-conformists.

This can be accomplished by way of education. Not only are common experiences perceived as unique to the individual really common in most instances. But this also enables people experiencing difficulties in this area to reach out and gain advice from people around them. With the new found understanding that their struggle is not an unusual or uncommon issue.


Reference List

Dont be guilted into making home-cooked meals every night (2014, October 23). The Courier Mail. Retrieved from

© 2015 Ricki-Lee Keeley


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