Families and Its Beliefs

Table of Content

Despite the increasing number of people who do not have biological families, they are able to establish familial connections with relatives and friends who offer assistance and support in times of need. Mary Pipher’s book “Reviving Ophelia: saving the selves of adolescent girls” argues that society as a whole is responsible for the breakdown of numerous families. Nevertheless, certain individuals manage to cultivate their own family units.

Pipher highlights the importance of non-biological bonds in forming families, which can include both relatives and friends. However, not everyone has the capacity to be part of such a circle. Families are made up of individuals who demonstrate love, care, and support for each other irrespective of blood ties. Non-blood-related families often provide financial or emotional assistance whenever needed.

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Regardless of blood relationships, families engage in these activities. Pipher presents the idea of “formed families” as a substitute for those without a family. Although it can provide a sense of belonging, acceptance by all members is not always assured within a “formed family.”

Forming friendships can be challenging for many people, whether due to shyness, social skill limitations caused by diseases like Alzheimer’s, or the fast-paced nature of today’s world. The busyness of work and personal lives often takes precedence over making friends, leaving individuals feeling isolated and resorting to creating their own makeshift families. Pipher believes that while alternative sources of love and support exist, nothing can match the unwavering reliability and steadfastness provided by a traditional nuclear family.

The American society has evolved to become more impatient and violent over time, a trait that can be traced back to its inception. The founding fathers, driven by their strong egos and refusal to be under another nation’s rule, sought independence. This mentality of independent ego still exists today as individuals often prioritize their own needs above others.

In addition, money holds a significant position in American culture, leading businesses to prioritize profit rather than consumer satisfaction. As a result, meeting consumer needs is not a top priority for these establishments. This prioritization of profits over customer happiness has deeply embedded itself in American society.

According to Pipher, our “unwritten rule of civility” refers to the expectations we have of each other in order for civilization to thrive. This includes actions like not cutting in line or holding the door open for others. Pipher argues that the deterioration of American culture begins with the breakdown of these unwritten rules. The community as a whole is responsible for the high number of broken families, although some individuals still manage to maintain cohesive family units. Many unfortunate individuals lack a biological family, leading them to seek out their own chosen family.

Establishing connections and forming friendships can be a challenging task for certain individuals, resulting in isolation and limited communication. Not everyone possesses the ability to make friends easily. Additionally, in American society where traditional social norms are diminishing, the difficulty of cultivating friendships increases as people become more self-centered and prioritize personal gain over building relationships with others. This cultural context creates a notable disparity between acts driven by altruism versus those motivated by self-interest. Consequently, the community at large bears responsibility for the breakdown of numerous families.

It is important to consider the overall situation before understanding the reason behind this crisis. Piper illustrates this with a pertinent example, stating, “Even when disagreements arise within families, they stick together because of love and sacrifice” (pg 198). Families comprise individuals who genuinely care for and prioritize your well-being, even if it involves making sacrifices. However, due to the chaotic nature of our society, sometimes biological families may not always offer the optimal support.

In this culture, individuals constantly strive to be self-sufficient and expect reciprocity when providing assistance to others. Due to the absence of blood relations, some individuals opt to create formed families composed of a community of friends. However, formed families have drawbacks as they may exclude certain individuals (pg 200) and tend to be less enduring.

According to Pipher (pg 201), our culture is saturated with rudeness. We witness people casually insulting each other without much consideration in our everyday interactions. In this modern age, individuals tend to speak and behave without thinking about the possible harm caused. Our society places a strong emphasis on individualism, with everyone mainly focused on their own welfare. It is imperative that we acknowledge and change this mentality, which originates from the larger communal structure of our culture.

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Families and Its Beliefs. (2017, Feb 16). Retrieved from


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