Position Paper on Family: Definition and Role Over the past several decades, Americans’ living arrangements have changed dramatically. In the 1960s, 3 in 4 children lived in a traditional family (i.e. heterosexual parents in their first marriage). Today, less than half of children do so. Despite changes in living arrangements, society still expects family as a social institution to provide financial and emotional

Position Paper on Family:  Definition and Role

Over the past several decades, Americans’ living arrangements have changed dramatically.  In the 1960s, 3 in 4 children lived in a traditional family (i.e. heterosexual parents in their first marriage).  Today, less than half of children do so.  Despite changes in living arrangements, society still expects family as a social institution to provide financial and emotional support for members, bear/adopt children and socialize them to function effectively in the broader society, respect external authority and maintain authority/control within the family unit.  You are to write a  3 page double spaced paper that

  1. Argues persuasively for or against society broadening the definition of family to include nontraditional groups. Personal opinion alone is not sufficient.  Back up your position The Definition of Family Should Remain Limited by Christensen) with reliable statistics, expert opinion, or other quality evidence, citing at least two different sources (use APA style).
  2. Critically evaluates the ability of unmarried heterosexual partners, unmarried or married homosexual partners, reproductive technology users, single parents (never married or divorced), and voluntary childless couples to do each of these tasks as compared with a traditional family structure. Explicitly discuss the strengths and challenges each group faces in successfully completing each task. Support your evaluation with at least two quotes from assigned readings and one quote from a reputable outside source (3 or more quotes in this part of your paper).  Be sure to discuss all nontraditional groups listed.
  3. Proposes a definition of family that you think society should adopt. Give explicit justification for why your definition should be widely used.  What are the key advantages and expected outcomes of use of your definition?  Would your definition align with or challenge current law related to family (e.g. employee benefits, inheritance rules, etc.)? Evaluate the usefulness of your definition for such activities as census enumeration, research, eligibility for public assistance.

Scoresheet for Position Paper on Family:  Definition and Role

      0 or  1                       2                               3                           4                           5                                         6

not done,          needs much             below                   average                   above                      outstanding

poorly done    improvement          average                                                average

 

Evaluation

Components

Comments

 

1              2              3                4              5                6

Clear stand taken for or against society broadening the definition of family to include EACH nontraditional group.  Stand well supported by research evidence.  2 quotes included and used appropriately.
 

1              2              3                4              5                6

 

(times 2)

Critically evaluated the ability of EACH group – heterosexual partners, married or unmarried homosexual partners, reproductive technology users, single parents, voluntary childless – to successfully complete ALL tasks that society expects family as a social institution to complete as compared with a traditional family structure.  Evaluation correctly and convincingly drew on class discussions and readings.  3 or more quotes used appropriately.
 

1              2              3                4              5                6

Proposed and justified a definition of family that society should adopt.  Discussed advantages and effects of using proposed definition. Evaluated usefulness of definition for such activities as census enumeration, research, eligibility for public assistance.
 

1              2              3                4              5                6

Quality of writing, including grammar, spelling, thesis statement, flow of ideas presented, absence of awkward, unclear, or poorly written statements, correct citations in text and reference.
 

TOTAL POINTS (out of 30)

 

 

 

Read your paper and put a ü mark in the box when you’re sure you’ve written something about if and how well the group at the top of the column can do the specific task listed on a given row.

 

  Unmarried heterosexual couples Married or unmarried

Homosexual couples

Single parents Users of reproductive technology Voluntary childless couples
Provide financial support
Provide emotional support
Bear/adopt children
Socialize children
Teach children appropriate respect for authority
Maintain control in family

 

 

  No Sorta, not good yet Yes
Used quotes from two different authors to support evaluation
Clearly stated that society should or should not broaden definition
Backed up opinion with two additional quotes
Proposed a definition of family that society should adopt
Evaluated usefulness of my definition for census, research, etc.
Correctly cited quotes in text and in bibliography
Kept within page limits

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Position Paper on Family: Definition and Role Over the past several decades, Americans’ living arrangements have changed dramatically. In the 1960s, 3 in 4 children lived in a traditional family (i.e. heterosexual parents in their first marriage). Today, less than half of children do so. Despite changes in living arrangements, society still expects family as a social institution to provide financial and emotional
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