Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
The extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now than it was in the past.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
There is a heated debate concerning the importance of extended family in the modern society. While some people believe that the extended family plays a similar goal in the modern society, detractors disagree with that viewpoint, saying that the extended family is indeed less important now than it was in the past. In my opinion, I concur with the latter for two primary reasons.
First of all, there are many signs in a modern family revealing the change in the extended family’s role. For example, children today cannot memorize even the names of their cousins, aunts and uncles. In some cases, it is not even feasible for them to recognize the existence of their relatives. One cannot simply tell how many distant sisters and brothers he has. Moreover, the New Year Eve and Christmas used to be the time in which we celebrate parties with other members of our extended family. In contrast, Christmas parties nowadays are held individually by different branch of a household. Sending a postcard or a present to other parts of the family is simply a gesture that reminds people of their extended family.
Secondly, the tribulations of the modern life well explains why the extended family today plays a less important role than they used to in the past. To put it simply, people have to work for their living for five days of the weeks. In some countries, people only have five or six hours a day to rest since they have to work sixteen hours a day for seven days in a week. Therefore, it is almost impossible for people to have new relationships or maintain their connection to their extended family. My discussion with an accounting manager in Singapore is solid evidence for this argument. A year ago, I had the opportunity to talk with a woman who worked 15 years for a global enterprise as an accounting manager. She frankly admitted that she only had eight hours a day to sleep and other activities. The rest of the day is spent in workplaces. Moreover, she said that she had not think for a moment in her life up until now about getting married or going out for a date. The only person she only kept in touch with was her mother.
Some people may argue that people today are still deferential to their extended family. Although I share a mutual agreement that people still look up to their extended family and their extended family still plays a role in their lives, the importance of their family is not as significant as it was in the past. During the Chinese New Year, my family still pays a visit to other members of our extended family. However, it is regarded as a tradition to remind us of the importance of the extended family. Each member of our family has their own voice in their businesses. We hardly take part in other business as well as take advices from the other extended family members. My family’s decision is primarily independent of those made by other extended family members.
Taking into account the problems of modern society and a variety of signs in a modern family, I argue that the extended family is now playing a less significant role than they did in the past.
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