Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yujin Song/ Timed Writing/ Tue 9am

Do you have any brothers or sisters? Probably most of you have one or two, and some of you are an only child. Now, think about your parents. They usually have at least four or five siblings. Families became smaller and smaller. Also, we even find one-person households very often. In the past, only widows or orphans lives alone, so living alone was considered as a pity. What happened during the past generation? Changes in the form of families are related to changes in society.

First of all, the education cost increased significantly. Many private institutions, or hakwon, have popped up since 1990's. Parents wanted their children to join one of them. As the demand for hakwon rose, the education cost went up as well. The increased education cost became a heavy burden for parents, so they didn't want to have many children. As a result, a fewer children were born, which formed smaller families.

In addition, people are getting married in older ages than those in the past. It was common to get married in the mid-20's a generation ago, but it is unusual nowadays. They are working or attending for colleges and graduate schools so that they do not have time to think about their marriage. Women in these days are more educated and more eager to be socially successful. As women participated in the job field, they did not hope to get married because marital status sometimes became obstacles to succeed in their careers.

Furthermore, more and more people live alone. Those who are in 20's or 30's usually leave their parents' house when they get jobs. It is quite usual to live separately, even though they are not married. Also, a number of the elderly live alone. Their children all got married and formed their own families. My family lives separately with my grandmother as well. She prefers to live alone in rural areas. As a result, the number of one-person households increases.

Families in these days are much smaller than those in the 1960's or even those in the 1990's. This is partly because the rise of education cost. The high cost became a burden for parents, which made parents have a fewer children. Other reasons are the older age of those getting married and the increases number of one-person households. It is helpful to consider the relationship between changes in society to study social trends.

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