Nuclear Family

February 14, 2017


The Nuclear Family, also sometimes referred to as the traditional family, is the societal model family for the United States citizens. It was extremely popular in the 1950’s and 60’s, and has become increasingly less common with the rise in divorce rates.


This model of family is comprised of a male-female couple (the mother and father) and their biological or adoptive children. These families are geared towards the purpose of bearing and raising children.


They also rely heavily on traditional gender roles, because it relies so heavily on the heteronormative relationship. The mother is the nurturing one who is in charge of rearing the children while the father is in charge of providing for the family and setting the rules. As Edgell and Docka write in “Beyond the Nuclear Family? Familism and Gender Ideology in Diverse Religious Communities,” “the ‘traditional’ family...reproduces an understanding of men and women as fundamentally different in nature.”


The Nuclear Family “is also based on a white, middle-class cultural orientation and is easier to achieve with a middle-class income.”

What is an example of a nuclear family from pop culture? Post a photo of them in the comments below for 10 points.  

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