This essay seeks to explore the truth behind the “naturalness” of adolescent/young adult independence from the family, the importance (or over-importance) of individuality, and the links between the modern, American family and professional middle class academia. Clearly, the ideology of the family goes beyond media depictions and becomes a way of life that is supported and restricted by societal institutions. What is it about academia and the “liberal arts” experience that makes it so hard to go “home”? How does this revolve around the professional middle class ideology of what a family is and what functions a family serves, e.g. what is the role of a mother, what is the role of a daughter? What structural barriers are in place that compel students in higher education to experience “family” in a similar manner and seek their own independence apart from the family?



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