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Thanks to thanks beating on. A mobile city. Russia's never on the never arresting people moving in circles people alone and in groups. People that work and play in the community and in the home. People are trying to find a place for the family and expanding the family grasping out into the community. The urban community after transplant more complex machines refused to recognise the family as a group paramount to itself. They wanted people outside the home using their facilities. They want people to spend all their time in the community not in the home. Changes in the family and work the family and play the family and community groups the
family and the physical community the family and its members. This document of major changes in family living was produced and recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The values in opposition family traditions and 20th century demand remembrances of a harder rural existence when the family supported itself a life of difficult physical work but a life of self-sufficiency of close personal relationships of balance and
stability. The old days which are not remembered so much for being good. As for being free. That of course a housewife. Little to do with. No they're so far away from me especially there's no lights no. All cooking was done with coal or wood lamps were you. It was a really hard life is because in the summertime the growing and harvesting season was so short that they had to do everything and said you know if you want to hurry you know in the summertime then you know what the weather so that you couldn't do too much. Yes I believe much harder than it is today and that even in those places. It was I'm out 50 miles to town to any town
there and. Dad took an old spring wagon team to go to the nearest town and it took two days. To go and come back. With the supplies staples and whatever. Well clothing and whatever hardware or machinery that he needed for the working of the ranch the most wonderful part was the freedom. I mean you could roam around. But any place without anybody worrying too much about you and especially the children a little older than myself they could get on horses to ride over the countryside. And at that time it was a lot freer than it is today. The mobility of twentieth century life. Family is demanded
outside the home. A specialized group and community. And family members heed the call. People wanting more time. Machines taking the family elsewhere. 50 years ago nobody went to a dentist and lesser tooth was aching too much to tolerate. Nowadays the prophylactic care the children get from the first time their little teeth erupt into well into their life. Is it. A constant source of of transportation and getting to appointments. When I was a little girl you never heard of little girls have been take dancing lessons any poor little girl today who doesn't think dancing listening is a deprived child. She just is among those who isn't doesn't belong and all her little friends will take them and some others is a show for her to their singing lessons. She's is probably also in Girl Scouts or our camp for girls and she
no doubt has to take some music lessons besides And somewhere in between they have to have a little practicing done and the pressure on children is terrific. To say nothing of the pressure of mama now along with that why both mama and papa have to take part in these programs. Girl Scout Boy Scouts church leadership groups and they have parents nice and PTA and all the other things. You have no idea how many parents are spending all the time doing these things so that there isn't an awful lot of time left for just relaxing living around the home. Like I go out to hang out clothes in the next door neighbor sticks her head out the window into the copy's on fire and I'll be right over and I grab the baby I'm the other killed where I'm going and I'll fight. New demands upon family living. Finding a basis in a mobile
population and a more efficient industry. Urban drift. New technology contributing to the conflict between traditional values and the present demands. Complex relationships complex communication. Centralized control. Mechanization of industry. Greater energy resources the population has been declining. But that is because. Of unrest. More employment in the city. And. Even farming has become mechanized They have machines to do the work so they do not need as many farm laborers as they did even a few years ago. This train was started during the war when quite a number of young people man this eventually were drafted and others went to city areas where there
were defense industries. But two world wars have done little to ease the tensions in family living caused by urbanization and advanced technology. A break with tradition in the 20th century. A break that contributes to conflict in family living. Time of the threat of the First World War. Our country seem to have a much more peaceful and puritanical type of life and there were rigid the controls that there may have been necessary for people to use their judgment. The community pressures were great enough that young people did just this and never did that. And you knew where to go and how far you could go and what was expected of you and today there seems to be a breakdown of a seemingly natural control that seemed to exist when the first real world was over the the breakdown of the social pattern that
is seen to be so prevalent everywhere it was was quite a tremendous thing. And you read about the gay twenties. You have no idea what a tremendous thing it was after a prohibition went out or came on I mean and. People started to were storing up liquor in their homes and people went to speakeasies they seem to flout law before law was a very stable thing in people's mind and that the speakeasy came in and young people started going away from home and homes that never had drinking just regularly thought it was smart clever. The elite thing to do. From that we soon emerged into a depression and a goodly share of the people that I see are really products. I think more of the depression than either of the wars the insecurity
the lack of something to hold onto it seemed to me was so great in the lives of so many young people especially those that are in the 30s now. They weathered through that depression and they're the foundations of life seem to be so shaky for those people that I see it all the time. I see young people who either say oh let's live it up it will be gone anyway or we have to be so careful we have to be where they're afraid to spend money they're afraid of a of a loss of financial security particularly I think that is an exceptional family that wasn't hit by that and the young children who had to go without who went through the horrors of being on those of soup lines of losing homes that were
supposedly a secure as could be. The. Instability of living a gradual preoccupation with problems changing relationships between the family and the external community the family and work family and leisure time family and other special interest groups family and health family and education. Changes resulting in conflict. Conflicts that set the family at odds with the community. And with itself. Relationship between work and family conflict between work and family. A man's work sometimes interferes with his life at home.
You say his family. Don't forget that ad as the First World War came on for the first time in our experience both men and women worked and this has made not only a revolution in the status of woman and what she expects of life but her relationship to the traditional pattern of the man only bringing home the bacon. And this started right at with the First World War and it was accentuated greatly by the Second World War. The. Effort of working in it seems to be different with men and women because men it's part of their way of life well with women is to supplement their income and the woman doesn't take her work as seriously as ma'am. But it has been very serious from the standpoint of. Acquiring material goods without giving them a petard on how to do this. Gradually I think men have have fitted in so what the pattern of it being a quantity of effort and the woman having respect for her job and keeping it for a
long period of time. But. There still is the feeling that in the home that is the woman's job to care for the home and the family and I and all of the planning for it and women are fighting is a very great burden to carry especially when there are children to look after and I think a great many of them have many sense of guilt about the various areas and in family life that are being neglected because of it. What do you want for you like a daughter who can do a little dance and family instability contributes to community instability. A feeling of insecurity thing I mean that changes in work work is more mental in nature or in services fail to relate work and home family disorganization.
I think the community we're not like that. Thank you. Well but you take the year the little individual communities within a big city. It affects them because. The man is unable to do good work when he goes away after having it can be a chaotic home. And that he goes into his job feeling insecure because his own personal relationships are insecure. And this makes for a stable relationships with people that with whom he works. These people in turn start to could possibly lose consciousness of him because of his seeming instability. He is unable to do his best work yet unable to think clearly. Very much here in in Los Angeles of course one and this would be true of almost any of our big cities where we have government projects and hush hush work. The husband can't really talk about his work a great deal at home and is so highly technical that even if he's in the bar in the
lower levels of his Hotshots work he can't discuss with his wife is a every day job of doing this or that. And the wife feels sort of shut out. They have no means of communication up to his interests. And if there has been some other types of conflict with the marriage why it has to break down there. Their ability to communicate with each other along it in other areas. I find this is true that with children. I know a little girl whose child whose playmates ask her what does your daddy do. And she had to say well I don't know. She didn't know how to identify with a day's word and she was ashamed because one little boy says oh heck my dad's a house Peter and everybody knows what a house Peter is so if he could be proud his father was a house painter and another youngster said My dad has not a mechanic. But this little grove couldn't say a thing.
Well my dad just works someplace in the plant but I don't know what he does. And she had no relationship to her daddy's work or his her daddy's life. This made for a feeling of of lack of a status a little girl with her own peers. Here's another thing that I have found with these people that are commuting out to the far areas of the town and there are long distances with heavy traffic. But the time that he gets home he is tired and he doesn't want to be bothered with anything he said just to relax. Well this also makes for a lot of conflict with the family relationship and all we can think of is get my dinner and maybe wifey would like to say just a few little words about her day. Well he's just too tired all he can think of is dinner. And so this makes a way to between them. The children can't climb up on dad to get off of me I'm tired. Give me the paper I want to read and all he can think of is to get away from all of his confusion and
and turmoil that he's had all day so that he can't be feel like a good daddy who's interested in sonny boy or daughter's experiences or or wife's day. And so they all turned in their dinner with a kind of a grumble. And it isn't nearly as uncommon as you might think. Family problems time demands upon family members instability and insecurity driving children from the home. Tense situations outside. Parents and children. They acquire so many many tensions that they don't recognize and they only have those is their general sense of anxiety and they have learned a pattern of keeping and repressing
within themselves their feelings of tension and they are able to express them adequately because they don't know how to. It seems to me that so many times the parents of. A few years ago were trying to carry their own burden of all the children got was a just a general sense of anxiety. So they carry this into marriage now. And and this makes a great deal of trouble because the children sense this and they try to get away from home. They get their recreation and and learn whatever they do learn for good or evil from outside. An increase in social mobility. More group demands upon family members creating conflict within the family. Family Communication has been blocked has changed with the social changes in the 20th century with the children having their school life and recreational life taking care of
outside of the home. They're independent of parents and parents don't even know the interests of their children and very often don't even take make effort to do to become interested or know anything about it. Along with that. The working mothers and the children who carry keys is also something that's broken down. I relate the the old fashioned relationship of parents to children where children are becoming very much more dependent and of course there are so many social mores that it that encourages started things with the young people doll that by the time you have girls of 13 or 14 come along they aren't prepared but there they are. They demand the right to to dictate what they do. I'm. Shocked often by the fact that so many of these young people don't even tell their parents where they are or who they are with or what they're doing.
And the parents not only don't know they don't really seem to make any effort to know. And when these youngsters get into difficulties it isn't it is difficult to understand why. Around here there's an awful lot of hanging around corners and hanging around the lower ranks so hang around movie theaters and the youngsters sometimes tell their folks well I'm going to go with Joe or Mary or something like that. And maybe they meet up with Joe or Mary or maybe they don't. And the parents there find out unless something has come up to the two they tell them to some other stars. And changes in family no traditionally was a family matter.
But technology has made it a public matter. One of the greatest things I think in the general health of the family is as a matter of preventive medicine and comparing medicine today with that 50 years ago we have vaccines and ceremonies which will help to have prevent many of the serious childhood diseases such as diphtheria which accounted for many deaths among the children of that family years ago. Now most of them are generally women I used and a very early age and and these diseases in general are are kept down to a minimum and now they are the you know and and how process of vaccine this disease might even be greatly reduced if not entirely reduced because in a number of years preventive medicine as practiced today has greatly helped me
they help the family in general. The next greatest factor I think is the medical education of the family actually getting to a doctor with their medical problems some of them a form and the ease of transportation has facilitated this to a considerable extent. Before many years ago all of the family was under the care of their grandmother or grand parents or father and mother who had home remedies handed down to them and they did the best they could because they didn't have presumably adequate medical attention. There is Dr might be many miles away with poor communication they cannot converse with him about their medical problems so they had to be handled by some member of the family. Often times this was out of
the way home medical book or medical encyclopedias. They read this and read the remedies out of the book from symptoms that they saw the patient had. And oftentimes these encyclopedias weren't correct either so that medical care 50 years ago in the family which was far away from a doctor was certainly not what it is today. Oh well. Can. And changes in the education of family members children learning by doing at home by learning for a much less complex existence. Education at home and education in country schools started in the old days as you know through this history. It
basically was an education to learn to read the Bible and then gradually as people discovered that our whole society is becoming more complex or mechanized the children were going to have to learn more or they would have to learn more specific things and gradually actually much later than when we actually needed these things they came into the program such as driver education is a recent one that is just coming it should have gone in 20 years ago. Possibly they might have helped and we have tried to bring in needs into the program. Try to eliminate some of the ones that are not actual needs such as Greek and Latin things that are not and they would be needs I guess to the idealist but not needs as far as educating a child to become a good citizen.
Changes in family living tradition function are taken over by outside groups leaving family members at a loss seeking outside the home grasping outside the home and into the community. Greater communication of information about family living is needed. Communication by universities by the mass media by family relations counselors solutions to family problems may be found in these directions. I think that there has been loss somewhere along the line and I don't know if I can put my finger on it. That that young people are not being given. A sense of responsibility through understanding their place in the community or the home. And I find that there. It seems to me at least that young youngsters going through high school
today don't have their rightful amount of of a sense of responsibility or turning processes that used to be rather naturally present with young people. I think it is a tragedy that you find so many young people in the 20s who just do not have enough self direction in them to guide them in almost the smallest little ways. I'm sure that all of you have seen this but when anyone asked me was wrong with marriages today they expect me to say something nice and gory like say X or finances or in-laws and then I come up with something totally unexpected and I say the greatest thing is a lack of emotional maturity on the part of the individuals. Thanks relations among
people become more complex. Leisure time activities spread away from the home and create confusions. Work and Play become more integrated and more complicated. These are the trends that will increase family problems. Constructive planning is needed. The use of educational institutions. The advice of family counselors. The use of the mass media. These are the directions in which solutions may be found. Thanks speeding are. A mobile city Russians ever on the inhale never arresting. People. Moving in circles. People alone and in groups. People. I think Clay. And I. Were. In the community and in the home. People. Trying to find a place for the family. Thank. Institutions and people cooperating in the production of this program were St. Joseph's Hospital the
American Institute of Family Relations and the faculty of the University of Southern California. This program was written by Donal price directed and narrated by Ruth and produced by Stuart Cooney a place for the family was recorded by the University of Southern California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is me Radio Network.
Fifty years of growth
A place for the family
Producing Organization
University of Southern California
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Voices remember the family as it was, and talk of change seems more than just familiar. Questions form. Tradition and innovation combine in the living scene to shape answers.
Series Description
A series of documentaries on industrial change in the U.S.
Broadcast Date
Social Issues
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Director: Deroux, Edward
Narrator: Kuralt, Charles, 1934-1997
Producer: Cooney, Stuart
Producing Organization: University of Southern California
Writer: Price, Donald
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-54-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:13
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Chicago: “Fifty years of growth; A place for the family,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “Fifty years of growth; A place for the family.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: Fifty years of growth; A place for the family. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from