The real "modern family"

Clearly with our insatiable appetite to keep an eye on cultural shifts and the impact these have on the consumer context, we were excited to discover this fascinating article by Jordan Weissmann at Slate, exploring what the emerging face of the “modern family” in America actually looks like.

Almost two-thirds of American women had at least one child out of wedlock, a growing trend and not caused simply by absentee fathers. Many fathers are very present.

The interesting trend is the rejection of the institution of marriage, rejection of the romanticised notion of happy-ever-after and the acceptance of the practical decision not to spend hard earned (and difficult to come by recessionary money) on big celebrations. Less is more.

Women (and their partners) are redefining the social norms about what kinds of environment children should be raised in. This trend is also being played out in Australia with approximately 30% of Australian children being born outside of marriage - trending upwards.

It is clearly time to bury the notion of a predictable life trajectory, time to debunk the notion of ‘traditional’ families, stop trying to reduce the number of ‘single mothers’ and consider what this means for advertisers, marketers and employers.