Marriage: Then and Now
John Scanzoni developed a model of marriage that is considered by many to be the preferred norm for American marriages even today. His model was based on specific roles for each partner divided strictly along sexual lines. This model marriage includes a husband who is the wage earner and thus the sole provider for the family and a wife who stays at home, bears children, and is responsible for the care and nurturing of them. She has charge of the house and is expected to care for it along with the children. She is expected to teach the children such things as responsibility and morality while the husband has only to worry about providing the funds to support the family. The family of Scanzoni’s model is a conjugal type of marriage, in that the couple moves into a separate household from either’s family.
This type of marriage was made possible when America moved out of an agrarian society and into an industrialized one as it did around 1840 (Bernard 9). As married couples sought out a life independent of kinship by moving to centers of community where employment allowed them to make a better life for themselves the good provider emerged as a predominately male role. The opportunity for th
The marriage itself was the victim of assumptions. "The Good-Provider Role: Its Rise and Fall. This literature put the home at the center of a woman"tms life with child rearing the most important aspect of home. These women in many cases began to question the assumptions that led to their choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom (Rubin99). Goode, in World Revolution and Family Patterns, shows that "the classical family of Western nostalgia" was a false stereotype and thus other stereotypes are similarly in error. We even have an idea of some of the requirements for this type of marriage to emerge. The conditions of the fifties were made possible by a rare set of economic conditions that only lasted a few years but all other aspects of the ideal family of the fifties was artificially created by a society that feared a return of the Depression or even worse Nuclear War with the Soviet Union. Is it possible that the conditions could once again be met that would allow the ideal family to be the most numerous type of family in America Anything is possible. One of the ways they tried to assure their own morality was through a surgical procedure called clitoridectomy (Demos 71). They were finding themselves in competition with overseas companies that had rebuilt after the war with the newest innovations available.