How modern families increase social inequality | The Economist


The family has always been a central building block of society But families have changed dramatically in the rich world… …over the past 50 years You may kiss your wonderful life partner and your wife… He knows he has a donor He knows that we’re both his parents He knows he doesn’t have a dad and all of that… …and it’s just normal Changes to society mean that the old model of a breadwinning husband… …and a stay-at-home wife has all but collapsed A single mum supporting my own children is the normal nowadays And the different ways rich and poor families raise their children… …are increasing social inequality We are basically paying for pre-school what I paid for college 50 years ago, families didn’t look like this We’re so gay We work together We live together… …and love it Today, gay families like Maggie and Joelle’s… …are widely accepted in the rich world There are so many gay families in San Francisco It’s amazing It is becoming increasingly normalised Who is in this photo? A generation ago, it was almost unthinkable… …that same-sex couples would get married Look at this one This one’s really pretty… …I like this one You’re pretty But now most people in rich countries think gay marriage is fine I really, really wanted our families to accept our marriage as a marriage… …and not just like a girlfriend and I think until that time… …I swear, I think my family just thought I was in a phase for 15 years You were right, the wedding definitely had that effect on our families They’re in it with us now Fears that gay marriages would undermine heterosexual ones… …have proven unfounded And this is one reason why marriage equality has spread… …so extraordinarily fast Before 2001 gay marriage was not legal anywhere in the world Since then, it’s been legalised in nearly all rich countries… …and developing nations are starting to follow suit In California the right to get married was on and off… …but I think two months before our wedding was… …when it became permitted So that was the big part of our ceremony It’s a far cry from the 1960s, when families typically consisted… …of a dad who went to work… …a stay-at-home mum and three or more kids Better access for women to contraception… …education and jobs has changed this traditional family portrait Across the globe, families are shrinking Nowhere more so than in South Korea Here a growing number of women… …are rejecting marriage and having children altogether… …like Go Lee, who is 26 It’s Thursday night and I’m with my friends Like many South Korean women, Go and her friends are well educated We’re going to have Mexican food which is my favourite… …and maybe go to karaoke after this She says traditional employers make it hard to combine a career… …with marriage and motherhood I decided not to get married because… …first, career-wise when I had my first job… …there was a senior colleague whom I respected a lot She was devoted to work initially Suddenly she switched focus to her family… …and I saw her having a career break and her career stalled Go works in IT, but is also a vlogger on YouTube, where she urges… …South Korean women to be more assertive The problem is that the way you hold yourself is gender specific Women tend to be more passive and confined in the way they stand She believes South Korean men are part of the problem Many expect their wives to do all the housework… …and childcare, even if they have a job The old patriarchal society in South Korea is the fundamental reason… …why many South Korean women in their 20s and 30s… …like me, are choosing not to get married Men view women as an “assistant” At home, women need to be the homemaker and feed the family There is a huge mismatch of expectations around marriage in South Korea Most men want a 1950s-style relationship… …whereas women want something more modern and equal The result is they often end up not marrying or having kids at all… …and that’s left South Korea with a problem Its population is in free fall In 1960 the average South Korean woman had six children In 2018 that figure shrank to less than one A fertility rate of one means each generation… …is half as big as the previous one… …and in South Korea this means there are fewer workers… …to support the country’s ageing population In rural areas, men are viewed as poor prospects by South Korean women So the government is helping these men… …to find brides from poorer countries State-funded assimilation centres like this, teach immigrant… …brides how to cook Korean food… …how to speak Korean… …and even how to deal with Korean mothers-in-law Say it with me Like most of her classmates studying here today… …19-year-old Nguyen Thi Cam Thuy is from Vietnam She recently married a South Korean man… …40-year-old Kim Dae Hyun… …who found her through a matchmaking website I saw my wife’s picture around September… …and knew that she was the one I contacted the agency and went to Vietnam Over a fifth of married South Korean farmers and fishermen… …have tied the knot with a foreigner We got married last October on the 30th… …and we are enjoying married life in South Korea We don’t have any children yet But cross-cultural unions can be difficult… …and around a fifth of marriages between South Korean men… …and foreign women end in divorce within four years This video of a man beating his foreign wife caused widespread outrage 50 years ago in most rich countries… …domestic violence was considered normal Now, it is universally condemned and rates have fallen sharply… …by three-quarters in America alone, since the mid-1990s Today, other factors are more likely to affect the stability of families… …and these are contributing to a growing gulf between… …middle-class and working-class families In most rich countries, if you don’t go to university… …you are more likely to have kids outside of marriage And women who don’t finish high school are more likely to end up… …as single mothers than women who have a degree I’m a single mum because at 20-weeks pregnant… …Dad decided that he didn’t want to be around no more So, I let him walk It was easier to let him walk then than it was for him… …to actually build an attachment with the kids and then walk In Jamie’s hometown of Hartlepool… …in north-east England, 70% of babies are born outside marriage… …like her twins, Sean and Liam I am the sole earner of the household—without my income… …and my kids interrupting me Oh get him, fetching me cucumbers because they’re awesome It can be a financial struggle In Hartlepool in the 1960s… …men did heavy work in shipyards and factories… …which was much better paid than any job their wives could find So the women stayed at home with the kids But as technology advances… …manual work has dried up and uneducated men… …have struggled to find good jobs Everything industrial here in Hartlepool is gone There’s nothing left What comes with industrial decline? Poverty, depression, anxiety Family break-ups, marriages separating, suicide There’s all sorts that come… …because people feel they can’t provide for their family If the only men available lack steady jobs… …and don’t help around the home… …some women feel they are better off alone It can be hard to be a man I presume it would be hard you know having to step back a little bit… …and realise that you might not be the breadwinner and that you are… …actually having to rely on a woman… …to feed the family and keep the roof over their head So yeah, it can be hard for a man Middle-class families have remained solid in rich countries …over the past 50 years… …while working-class families have grown much less stable Women with a university degree… …are more likely than women who do not finish high school… …to be married and raise children with their husband as a team And this is contributing to a growing social divide… …a divide that’s increasingly apparent in the very different ways… …middle- and working-class families are raising their children Although American fathers from all backgrounds… …do much more child care than the previous generation… …today wealthier fathers spend much more time… …with their kids than their poorer counterparts do Most of the weekdays, for example, my wife takes care of them… …taking them to school, picking them up and then when I come from work… …I feed them, I play with them a little bit and give them a bath… …and put them to sleep… …and during the weekends we switch a little bit My husband always comes back home and takes care of dinner… …sometimes or breakfast during the weekend So, it’s very like 50/50 I would say Harvard-educated Gerardo shares the child-care duties… …with his wife Perla, who also studied there The couple are investing time and money… …in stimulating their children intellectually We do take her to, for example, like abacus classes after school… …where she’s like starting to learn how to do additions and subtractions… …and sometimes we come home and do a little bit of extra work By the age of three, the children of professional families… …have heard 30m more words… …than children from poorer backgrounds From zero to five, it’s very important that you spend time with your kids From there, it’s like you feel they already have the values ingrained A child’s early years are the most important for cognitive development… …so children of professionals have a head start long before they start school The pushy middle-class style of raising kids… …is sometimes called intensive parenting So intensive parenting is the idea that parents are investing… …an enormous amount of time and energy in their… …children’s development early on Sean Reardon is a professor of poverty and equality in education… …at Stanford University… …and has studied the influence of class on parenting… …and how well kids do in school It’s as if you thought of your child as an orchid… …a delicate flower that needs daily attention… …as opposed to thinking of your child in the way that parents used to… …think of their children as a tree or a bush We don’t water the trees or the bushes… …it’s in their nature to grow… …and barring any sort of catastrophe, they’ll do just fine Middle-class parents not only talk more to their children… …and take them to ballet, chess and extra maths classes… …they also compete to get them into the best schools Actually her school is less than a mile from here It’s a bilingual school They have teachers full-time Mandarin and full-time English All of them have master’s degrees and very high level education Gerardo and Perla’s daughter, Elizabeth, is learning five languages… …including Mandarin I think going to the school she’s gonna be more open to… …learning and talking with people like turning around… …and speaking Mandarin and turning around and speaking Spanish Elizabeth, how do you sing happy birthday in Chinese? But all this education doesn’t come cheap Elizabeth’s pre-school costs $31,000 a year Definitely costs of day care and pre-school… …have been way more than we expected originally We are basically paying for pre-school what I paid for college So, in the richest communities in the United States the average… …student scores three to four grade levels above the national average… …and in the poorest communities, the average student… …scores maybe two to three grade levels below the national average So, the difference in performance is a result of differences in opportunities A gulf is growing between wealthy families… …that stick together and raise high-achieving kids… …and blue-collar families that struggle to do either This gap is about much more than money Well-educated men are more likely than in the past… …to marry highly educated women The children of these clever parents are more likely to be clever… …and the children of stable families, are more likely to raise stable… …and high-achieving families of their own As you get a society that’s more divided… …economically and educationally… …you increasingly run the risk of having a society… …that doesn’t have empathy for other parts of itself The risk is you end up with a kind of more socially and economically… …polarised society as a result of this Well-educated families have become success factories… …passing on their advantages to their kids By contrast, many poorer children grow up… …with no first-hand experience of what a stable family looks like As men and women have grown more equal over the past 50 years… …families have grown much less so




Comments
  1. I am so grateful for my husband. He encourages me to do a killer job in my career, take a break at home, hears my input before making decisions.

  2. The human race is imploding and taking everything down with it… Will we ever succeed at saving ourselves from ourselves? Time’s running out.

    P.S. A note about the futur should we succeed: we will nonetheless bare the scars of the damage we’ve done and are still doing for generations and generations to come, if not forever.

  3. Love it. Classicide
    All hail the new/old communist/socialist doctrine….
    "Its those families over there. They're the ones who are stealing your opportunities away."
    Absurd.

    Families live under the rules and laws of their time. To centre your subject in a headline like this ony shows your true intent. You really don't care at all.

  4. Men need to stop making babies outside wedlock and women need to stop giving it up. More and more I think it all boils down to people losing the value of their virginity. That and the power our society gives to women, without question, to destroy a man's life on a whim.

  5. This economic and social divide, manifests into a political divide. Thats why you see people favouring trump who said "America first" and promised to bring back jobs stolen by migrants.

    I am from India and I see a similar collapse of social structure, decade by decade. Though its not that alarming here but the signs are beginning to show in tier 1 cities.

  6. The situation with the Korean men marrying women from poorer countries is nothing new. Being Vietnamese myself I have an uncle who "mail ordered" his wife from Vietnam (we live in California). Sounds like modern/government sponsored arranged marriage.

  7. That 19 year old girl looks so indifferent to that man. also, Elizabeth's preschool is more expensive than my graduate education. That is why am not having any kids unless I know I can provide something like that for my children. So unless I marry up or get a significant pay raise by the time am 33, am just going to adopt a kid (older kid) in my 40s.

  8. this is oversimplification and overgeneralization! there are children of rich parents who become spoiled brats and children of poor dysfunctional families who become successful and have stable family later on

  9. How come middle class families are being blamed? What about the increasing cost of college? The privatization of education? Decreasing wages? Increased costs of housing? I think there's more the whole puzzle than just blaming middle class families.

  10. At the root of this is falling levels of individual responsibility towards each other. This is the inevitable outcome of “me, me, me”. Don’t blame people with regular family values for not letting their families get destroyed.

  11. Something is not right to this video.
    Promoting not right mentality (they say modern mentality) All the things mentioned by them being normal actually are creating probably the non normality in the world.

  12. Maybe the problem isn't women becoming more educated and marrying people similar to them, but rather the fact that quality childcare costs so much and therefore is inaccessible to poorer populations

  13. Meanwhile lower class white are insisting that universities are communist brainwashing factories and telling people not to attend universities.

  14. This book is roundly controversial, mostly among people who haven't read it, but if you want more information, I suggest reading The Bell Curve, which deals with this notion of a society dividing based on education and intelligence.

  15. The title of this video is very misleading, it’s mostly about class than it is about how modern families are raising their children. Not sure why they decided to go with that

  16. I don't think this is a well researched issue. It's more a compilation of this and that manupilated to drive an agenda than a critical analysis.

  17. This report is so wrong and biased. The cost of living in Korea is so high so most men don't want their wives to be stay at home moms. The falling real income, lack of stable jobs with decent pay, and increasing cost of living are the reasons why BOTH WOMEN and MEN are choosing not to marry in S Korea.

  18. My only curiosity is that what do the kids call the moms? It wouldn’t be both moms or dads right? Because that would be super confusing (Honest question)

  19. Aha, wait till more workers are deleted from industries as AI, Robots take over work. What then would the situation be called/termed ….social inequality or intelligence inequality?

  20. 16:15 that little girl's Mandarin is… Awesome (given that she doesn't seem to be in a family with strong Chinese background or connections)! Although technically in some ways learning a language that early makes her almost a 'native speaker'.

  21. Geez Vietnamese girls, please do not come to korea for marriage. The guys, who choose you on the internet, are really poor and old. They couldnt get married with korean women that’s why they want to BUY you. It’s super disgusting. In korea, many ppl are against that kinds of business buying girls from another countries. You can find easily many cases how that women are treated in korea. Please take care of you. Do not marry with Korean losers.

  22. Something is not normalised when you constantly hang out a flag proclaiming your sexuality, it is an oversexed, homofascinated society that does that.

  23. In the United States, very few wealthy people seem to understand that they will ultimately be better off financially by paying relatively high taxes if the policy adequately addresses economic inequality. There are myriad reasons why. It's complex, and frankly I haven't heard any politician here address any of them properly.

    If the US doesn't address this soon, it's a wrap. I used to bristle at the policy prescriptions because they involved a lot of government spending.b Having read some of the literature, I underwent a conversion, haha.

    I have rarely met a Republican who will even mull over the ideas and consider the data. They seem to view it as a thinly veiled excuse to raise taxes. It's just about taxes. They don't seem to care that they would end up having a much higher quality of life. Single issue: lower my taxes as much as possible. I try to show them how the vast majority of people have done better historically under the Democratic tax regime. They simply won't listen. It is religion here.

  24. Couples fight, then they become happy again… But the Western laws interference in personal life and offering divorce card is the main problem

  25. A publication like the Economist, treated like a tool box of nuts, bolts and other useful gadgets, is excellent. But only if you take those tools and parts and reconfigure it into something else. Is society also like this? A partially stripped down box of odds and ends? Making any assemblage of parts with some semblance of functionality and purpose, even more precious. Working orders

  26. 26 in Korea is very young… of course she might not still be considering marriage. This is inadequate reporting.

    And this is also a very one-sided view of what Koreans think of gender relationships.

    What's the statistic for Korean-Korean divorces?

  27. I really wonder if over the long term the outcomes of the kids who didn't spend much time with their moms growing up will actually be better. Whatever advantages the double income might bring could easily be offset by the negative effect on their mental health from being deprived of critical nurturing early on.

  28. If you choose a partner that doesnt want to be in your children life , you have failed , dont blame your problems on those of thr Nuclear Family.

  29. Korea society could be developed in many years because there were several womyn's sacrifice. Now, we reject it and going to break the patriarchy.

  30. The rich always married the same level. the poor always married the poor. we are heading back to Aristocrate society in 1800.

    if you were born poor, you will be poor forever. but not hungry.

  31. Feminism is toxic . That's what I get from this .. " I can do it all alone " … We all know nothing serious can be done alone.

  32. So, what I can conclude is that if you're poor, don't reproduce, or only have one child instead of loads of children. Wealth is an accumulation, rich people stay rich because they accumulate wealth over generations and the wealth of two person tend to be inherited by one person.

  33. 진짜 코리아 쪽팔려 죽겠네… 하.. 악순환을 낳는 원인인 제도를 차차 바꿀 생각은 안하고 출산율 전망 안 좋다고 징징대면 출산율이 오르니…? 제발 본질좀 봐…

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