There are many different types of households or home economies from all different types of cultures. I am going to focus on three ages and try to stay to a similar culture and explain how I perceive the home economics. I have always been fascinated with “cave men”, so this will be one of the groups I focus on. The Ancient Roman Empire and the present day will be the other two because they are both advanced civilizations.
The ancient cave people were nomadic food foragers and hunters. They were people of little possessions and no need for ownership of land. I would say it was a much harder but simpler time. The men would hunt and forage for food to feed their families and share with the rest of the clan/band. Women would also forage for food, along with take care of the households needs such as cooking. There is not much evidence of single parent families in these times, and it was very apparent that the man brought home most off the “bacon” and provided for the family and dominated the home economics.
In this time period the Romans were considered to be an advance civilization with aqueducts, businesses, and complex political systems. This is a society of elaborate households and extravagant items (for the wealthy families). It had a large market for art, masonry, performances, and growing/raising food. Most households would consist of a few generations under a single roof, with the head of the house would being the oldest male. Women in this society had little to no power, and were only thought to take care of the house and have children. This meant that men controlled all aspects of this civilization and were the sole providers for their families.
In most modern cultures the households have changed drastically. First, the family structure has changed to normally only include a singular nuclear family. Then, material possessions have become a necessity for most people and there has to be a way to make and get these items. Money is a very strong driving force in the society and has made wage labor the main way of sustaining a family. Wage labor has greatly changed the roles of men and women in the household. While women tend to make less money than a man doing the same job, women have become very important to the economics for a lot of households. Both men and women work to provide for the house, clean, cook, and even take care of children. The head of the house is still the person whom brings home the “bacon”, but this can be either the man or woman.
Overall the family dynamics have changed and the roles of men and women have become rather equal throughout the years. Single parent families have become more prevalent over the years. This is probably because the women have gained more rights and no longer need a man to own property, hunt, or even have a child. The professional family is very different from a family in the past.