How have ideas about marriage changed over the last four generations?
For this discussion post I would like you to watch the 1950 “social education” video linked above (about 22 minutes in length). Social education films were widely used in American schools for many years. These films also explored sensitive personal topics such as hygiene, social skills, dating, and marriage. The most famous social education film taught children what to do in the event of a nuclear attack (you may have seen that video, which advised children to “duck and cover”).
These films grew out of a traditional mindset- the idea that there is a correct way to behave, and right and wrong ways of functioning in society. You will immediately notice the lack of diversity in this film, and you will see other elements that may seem dated or very different from our times. The modern mindset in the United States generally embraces individual differences and the idea that there can be more than one correct way of living or fulfilling a social role (such as husband or wife). However, for this assignment your job is to learn about and reflect on the view of marriage reflected in this film.
Specifically, please answer the following questions (2 points possible for each):
How has marriage changed since 1950?
Were there positive elements of the relationships depicted in the film? Do any of these relationships reflect aspects of your own hopes and dreams related to marriage (or a committed relationship)?
In what ways do you see gender roles as being similar or different today in your country?
What “wisdom” or advice from the video script did you find valuable, if any? Did you find any of the advice in the film problematic?
Finally, can you offer any critiques of this video as a teaching tool for high school students? What elements might be different in an educational video about marriage filmed today?