Family and society have come across many changes during our history. Every change that occurred has affected what many people would call the "Benchmark Family" (Scanzoni #7). This is considered the perfect family or the norm. The Family would consist of the husband that is the breadwinner and the wife who is responsible for raising the children, and taking care of the home (Scanzoni #4). Society has changed dramatically from the 19th century. These changes in turn have affected Family. Many factors through the years have been responsible for these changes. Feminism is a tremendous factor that is still having its effect on family and society today. Another factor is employment. Women in the workplace have changed family structure over the years. Sex is also a factor that changed family and society in many ways. I will explore these factors and show what effect they have on family.

Feminism impacted family in a tremendous way. In the "Jacksonian Era" the notion was that men had divine right to rule over women (Scanzoni #104). People believed that men had certain characteristics that enabled them to be better outside the home, for the purpose of supporting his family. Women were believed to be fragile and over sensitive for the harsh workplace (Scanzoni #104). Society also had certain rules that had to be followed by the public to keep society stable. These rules were mainly developed through the bible and religious institutions. During the 19th century religion was an important part of peoples lives. Religion basically dictated to the people what was right and wrong. Religion was very influential during this period. A person believed, what the church said about how they should live was what god wanted and dictated in the Bible (Scanzoni #103). 

In every culture values, norms and lifestyles differentiate. However, there’s one aspect of every society that does not differ greatly, the importance of family. The role of family is important in every society because it is the main foundation and structure of society itself. John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath”, expresses the significance of family very strongly and delivers an unbelievably stunning story from a family viewpoint of life struggle the migrants went trough when forced of off their land. I have experienced a similar situation where my family was forced to leave our part of the land in Bosnia, and there was nothing left we had after we left the country, but the family. From this experience, it was easy to understand the importance of Steinbeck’s family the Joad’s who were on a journey for the better life. The role of family plays a very important role in “Grapes of Wrath”, showing the passage of the inner family to a construction of family of families, the society.