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Victorian and 1950s family values- not what they're made out to be?

Thundery wintry showers


I quite often read about how society is becoming broken due to the decline of traditional family values since the 1950s. I often read about how the 1950s were a golden era where people loved and cared for one another, families functioned as a strong unit and, since mothers generally stayed at home and raised children, children got more frequent parental care than they often do today.

For sake of balance, I refer readers to a couple of opinion pieces on the internet which paint the 1950s in a rather less positive light:

Yes, I admit, they're probably somewhat biased towards the negative, but no more so than many "today's society is broken" type comments are biased towards the positive.

When I look into this topic I see a lot of evidence to suggest that the 1950s "family values" were actually a relatively recent construct that evolved primarily during the Victorian era and, following the two World Wars, peaked in the 1950s. They involved a narrowing of the definition of "family", focusing mainly on parents/children/siblings/grandparents, whereas earlier cultures were often more inclusive of extended blood relatives and close friends. They were tied in with a heightened fear of sexuality (especially homosexuality) which led to a significant decline in the extent to which people made very close friendships.

With all of this in mind, the 1950s family values really aren't what they are often made out to be. The key concepts of loving and caring for and supporting others may often be associated with "family values" but they were also around long before the 1950s- indeed they were written about extensively in the Christian Bible and other texts from the first few centuries AD.

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I expect they were just as inbred as some families today, but liked to go to church at the weekend also.
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