How modern families increase social inequality | The Economist

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 (100)

  1. Let´s forget about stagnant wages and blame the families! The title is misleading

  2. Title is misleading, but very interesting video

  3. Again, SMH the propaganda is easily seen in the title.

    Common economist, you can hide your propaganda better than this.

  4. Actually, genius is equally disturbed. So I’m hoping for the next film about upward mobility.

  5. The Vietnamese Girl was blinking in Morse Code It says Help me Help me.

  6. i like that blonde chick with the veggie garden she seems so chilled, you can have a proper conversation with someone like that

  7. I guess we can all agree the Vietnamese lady is just surviving…

  8. Amazing!!! Love the channel

  9. This video is trying to frame social issues as the main contributor to childlessness. They're significant for sure, but what about the sheer cost of having kids? It would seem to me that you either need save up an unfeasible about of money during your most fertile years to have a baby later in life, when you're increasingly likely to give risk it's health, or to almost certainly go into debt.

  10. Americans think* they are smart. In fact they think they are the only one in this world who is smart. There are hundred other countries in the world who have a reputation* of raising kids and families and they don't seem to have the problems of equalities. Take it easy when you form a family. Families are meant to promote bonds in a relationship. Americans have poor attitude toward a family. Counselling can help but you need more than that to fix your attitude towads a family. There are many billion instances of families around the world and they clearly outnumber those in US who love to see inequalities in a family. We promote equality too. In fact we promote equality more than most. Promote willingness, sacrifice, bond … kind of values which are essential in a society. In fact they are as important as ensuring equalities.

  11. In the UK a single mother that doesnt work will earn more in welfare than she would working a full time job at minimum wage. A single man on minimum wage has no welfare entitlements. A family with a stay at home parent and one working minimum wage will only be slightly better off than a single mother not working.Results are formed by incentives in systems. Change the incentives you'll change the results.

  12. When opportunity becomes a function of birth, life becomes but a lottery.

  13. What is the meaning of middle class? What is the yearly income?

  14. You must know that as Korean men have been treated more like slaves since 1990s, they tend to avoid marriage.


  16. Well waddaya know, turns out looks really do matter 🤔

  17. 2:49 haha, i see taiwan becomes rainbow flag. And Singapore is so small, you can't tell.

  18. A very disappointment piece from The Economist. I was waiting to see how the claim that "modern families increase social inequality" is substantiated, and it wasn't until the last 2-3 minutes that they actually touch on it. Unfortunately, the answer doesn't seem to come from the kind of thoughtfulness that The Economist is known for. Income inequality breeds more income inequality because of accumulated capital that gets passed on from generation to generation. In this case, the accumulated capital that gets passed on is educational opportunity. What evidence is there that this has anything to do with "modern families"? It probably wouldn't matter if the the families are structured as mom-dad, mom-mom, or mom-only; as long as the household income is high enough to allow families to invest in education that are other families cannot afford, then social inequality will grow.

    Let's give a clearer example. Suppose you have the same exact family structure where it's a single mother, but one mom is an executive who can afford to hire nannies and raise kids on her own, and the other mom struggle to work multiple jobs to raise her kids. It's the SAME family structure, but the first mom who's already earning more will accumulate capital and pass it on to her kids in the form of exclusive education.

    Maybe the question should be: do exclusive education systems increase social inequality.

    Please be more responsible in your pieces, The Economist. This is spreading intellectual laziness.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. So you're saying that humans are diverging and evolving into multiple species.

  22. that little girl's mandarin is off, she got the tones all wrong 😛

  23. Finally got to the point at 12:00.

  24. 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."

    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.

  25. Inequality is not a problem, poverty and inflation are.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. Global phenomenon. Public school in UK. Private school in USA. International school in Asia.

  29. that's a Korean tomboy not a woman

  30. Watching this after reading outliers makes me want to cry

  31. Degeneracy bulls*** … Pandering to the godless..

  32. Desintegration. That's what's happening to society.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. Then the question leaves…why haven't men evolved?

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. Excellent film!
    Seems so practical.

  39. Government supported mail order bride!

  40. I am 33 yrs old and still not married. I won't have children unless I marry a man of equal standing.

  41. 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.

  42. “Intensive parenting” or “being there and being concerned about your kids.” Used to be du jour.

  43. The discovery of warm water….

  44. Andrew Yang for president. The only one in the US with clear solutions for the inequality problem.

  45. 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.

  46. This is actually a beautiful and éducative documentary

  47. Wise ppl get married. Other wise ppl don’t. Best to go your own way for better health life.

  48. Developed world will be history if situation like this persists.

  49. 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

  50. We need to prevent poor people from having kids.

  51. 7:35 The heights people go for easy citizenship

  52. A Korean feminist nutcase…

  53. I don’t see anything new in this video 🤔

  54. Don't have kids if you can't afford them.

  55. The problem is with neoliberalism

  56. To those who have, more will be given. And to those who have not, everything shall be taken.

  57. Beautiful reporting, fascinating stuff

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

  59. But isn't this the natural course of evolution?

  60. 17:00 "the difference in performance is a result of a difference in opportunities"
    how about a difference in genes?

  61. some more politically correct BS

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. Yo that's not middle class

  65. Maybe that Korean woman is hiding in the closet too.

  66. So basically men are bad women struggle???? Great way to promote equality…

  67. Don't blame fiscal and social policy, blame family structure for inequality. Amazing

  68. This video makes no sense … I wasted 10 mins of my life

  69. This video makes no sense … I wasted 10 mins of my life

  70. Thats a woman??? Ahahaha of course that korean refuses marriage

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. Five languages? Can you just let her breath? She'll be fine…

  74. 3:26 I believe japan is even worse when it comes to the shrinking number of marriages.

  75. Who else absolutely despised the mirror imaged b roll footage?

  76. What is the music at 3:46?

  77. I never knew middle class and working class are now being considered two different things.

  78. That vietnamese woman probably doesn't know Korean properly. That's why remained silent.

  79. 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)

  80. love the content but the music is obnoxiously loud at the beginning……..

  81. 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?

  82. No if you can’t keep up

    It’s your problem at this point

  83. It's a destruction of traditional family values because of feminism & homosexuality.

  84. This is the reason why people should have easier access to education so equality increases.

  85. I saw the title- I proceeded to unsubscribe 👍🏿

  86. Lol they have classes for dealing with mother in laws. 😂

  87. There is need of the government to step in and lift the poor children out of areas of less opportunities

  88. The Vietnamese girl face… she doesn’t want to be there
    19 and 40
    She looks extremely sad

  89. 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'.

  90. 여자의 결혼이 불리한 이유 세가지,
    가부장적 제도

  91. Obviously Korean guys buy brides..

  92. 07:52 So terrible. Women look like a commodity.

  93. 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.

  94. Wow, very insightful 👏👏👏

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

  96. So instead of teaching South Korean men to change for equality. They are encouraging foreign bride concept! Seriously!!

  97. 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.

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