Subject: Sociology    / General Sociology
Modules 1-5 Discussion: Families are DECLINING, not Changing Debate Position1111 unread replies.1111 replies.

This issue of decline vs. change is still being hotly debated today by “experts” on both sides of the issue. This collaborative debate will serve as a means to stimulate thoughts and express ideas about this issue.

After reading the articles, consider carefully and then take your position in the debate question:
Is the Family Changing or Declining?

This discussion area is those who have taken the position that “families” are DECLINING.

Read the New York Times article, The Changing American Family (Links to an external site.), by Natalie Angier. Even though this article is a few years old, it provides a fairly succinct and positive view of the changes that have resulted in greater diversification and strength in the American family.

The other side of this issue comes from David Popenoe, professor of sociology emeritus and co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the American family, and served as the co-chair of the Council on Families in America. David Popenoe believes the American family has been in decline since the 1960s and no longer functions or regulates its members. Supporters of the family decline position say the issues and trends outlined by Popenoe in his article on America’s Family Problem (Links to an external site.), in The Public Perspective (September/October 1992 Issue) are predictive and still relevant today, and in fact may have continued to get worse.

The specific areas of debate are:

What is your position on the declining (or changing) nature of the American Family today?
Is the family drifting apart or changing?
What important declines (or changes) in family patterns do you see in each of these positions and are they positive or negative changes?
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary American family?

Your debate answers should not be a list, but a thoughtfully composed argument statement that commingles the debate issues.

This is a graded activity. You are required to post or respond to a post twice in each of the discussion positions. This should be done over the span of the 5 week collaborative debate discussion. At the end of the five weeks you will fill out a survey to determine which position is favored in this course section.

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