Society 3.0

How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work and Society

by Tracey Wilen-Daugenti (Author)
©2012 Textbook VIII, 196 Pages


Higher education in the U.S. has traditionally prepared students for work and social success, but with families, work, and society itself undergoing revolutionary change, is this preparation sufficient to develop the 21st-century workforce? This book explores how evolving family structures, new ways of balancing work and personal lives, and rapid technological advancements will transform the ways that U.S. colleges and universities develop well-educated, career-oriented citizens. Society 3.0 will help higher education providers and industry leaders understand these potentially disruptive variables and design appropriate programs and career paths for tomorrow's workers. The book presents and explores the following insights:
– A wider range of family members, not just older children, now attend college, a decision that shapes – and is shaped by – 21st-century demographics.
– Older students, recognizing degrees as vital for competing in the global workforce, now outnumber those entering college before starting careers.
– Today’s workers are increasingly likely to be women, working outside the office or self-employed, or applying their education to innovation and entrepreneurship as small business owners.
– Technology is remaking the campus experience via smartphone learning apps, social networking among professors and students, and immersive engagement in virtual worlds – and even games.
Society 3.0 will provide higher education and industry stakeholders a guide for understanding the emerging societal forces that are shaping the future.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Section I—Societal Trends
  • 1. Runaway Changes
  • 2. New Learners (Courtney L. Vien)
  • Section II—Work Trends
  • 3. The Future of Women
  • 4. The Future of Work
  • Section III—Technology Trends
  • 5. Mobile Technologies
  • 6. Collaborative Technologies
  • 7. Immersion, Gaming, and Robotics
  • Section IV—Higher Education and Implications
  • 8. Learning Environments: Individualized Methods for Gathering Information
  • 9. Future of Higher Education
  • Index


This book emerged from a passion for innovation and a vision of its power to shape every aspect of our lives. Many people shared my passion and supported my vision. My sincere thanks to Caroline Molina-Ray, PhD, for her foresight into what this book could become and to her publications team for their constant support in helping me articulate and refine the book’s core messages. My deep gratitude goes to Sangeet Duchane for her expertise and interest in historic events that provide visibility into future trends; to Courtney L. Vien, PhD, for authoring chapter 2 on working learners and providing an important perspective on the students of today and tomorrow; to Sunanda Vittal for her careful editing and for helping each chapter reflect a deeper understanding of current and future societal issues; to James M. Fraleigh for precise copyediting and smooth integration of the research components; to Graham B. Smith for his creative cover design and graphics; and to Sheila Bodell for her expertise in the areas of library science, academic book indexing, and publishing operations. Their contributions as a virtual team provide a current-day preview into the future of work as a creative, productive, and rewarding endeavor. ← vii | viii ← viii | 1 →



This section discusses key societal changes occurring in the family unit and how a new set of learners is participating in education and the workforce. Traditional family models are giving way to blended family structures in which caregivers include not just a mother and father but also single parents, samegender couples, siblings, grandparents, and the like. Balancing work and family is a priority for most Americans, and they look to their workplace environment to recognize this need.

Changing family structures have impacted the way Americans perceive higher education goals. Today, there are more nontraditional learners than ever before. They include first-time college entrants with part-time or full-time jobs, sole wage-earners with families, and adult learners extending their careers or—as is increasingly the case—taking on new careers well past traditional retirement age. Changing societal attitudes regarding work and family impact the reasons why people choose to pursue higher education programs. Higher education institutions must therefore factor these changes into the way knowledge is delivered and consumed. ← 1 | 2 ← 2 | 3 →


· 1 ·


America’s “traditional” family unit for much of the 20th century—a husband as sole wage-earner, a stay-at-home mother, and two or three children—has radically evolved into multiple new forms. A lively nationwide patchwork of family arrangements and perspectives now thrives alongside the older model. Today’s typical families include single-parent households, blended families with step- or half-siblings and stepparents, couples with adoptive or foster children (or children from a surrogate mother), mixed-race households, multigeneration groups with middle-aged caregivers tending elderly and younger members, unmarried or gay couples with or without children, and, of course, dual-parent households with biological children.

These new models have arisen over the past few decades in response to shifting cultural norms and urgent economic realities. In turn, they exert new influence and pressure upon society as their numbers rise and their needs become more pronounced. As the worlds of business, technology, and education respond to the way the members of these new units now work, communicate, and learn, society will come to reflect this diversity and support the American family in all of its many forms. ← 3 | 4

The Changing Family Landscape

There was a time when the sitcom picture of the American family having just one wage-earner—the man—was fairly accurate. In 1938, up to 68% of U.S. households featured this arrangement (Chinhui & Potter, 2006). Women briefly entered traditional men’s jobs during World War II, but once the men returned, women often gave the jobs back to the returning men and began to start families. Those women who chose a career were the exception, and as a result, Rosie the Riveter, an archetype of World War II women factory workers, gave way to perfect housewives like June Cleaver of TV sitcom fame.

In the 1970s a new ideology emerged, promoting the idea that a woman’s place was not limited to the home and that a man did not bear the full responsibility of supporting the family. These changing attitudes profoundly affected the American workplace. By 1975, the number of households with two wageearners (dual-earner households) began to increase steadily until it reached 38% of all U.S. households in 2006. By then, only 16% of U.S. households still had a sole male wage-earner (Chinhui & Potter, 2006), and rising inflation during tougher economic times impelled many families to become dual-earner households just to pay the bills (American Psychological Association, 2004).

A significant outcome of the rise of the dual-income household has been that couples and families have had to craft new ways to schedule activities, resulting in new lifestyles and responsibilities. Everyday chores like cooking, cleaning, and caring for kids, for instance, must now be worked into job schedules, commuting, and travel. The challenges of handling these mixed roles and responsibilities remain an ongoing negotiation. Maria Shriver, broadcast journalist and author of a report on women’s role in society (Shriver & The Center for American Progress, 2009), states that when she interviewed couples about ← 4 | 5 this issue in 2009, many said that they sit down to discuss responsibilities and chores several times each week to keep their lives organized and their relationships viable.

Dramatic Shifts in Demographics and Attitudes toward Marriage

Lifestyle changes among American families have altered the traditional marriage equation. In 1950, there were 2.6 divorces per 1,000 people. In 2001, the rate had almost doubled to 4 per 1,000 (Fields, 2004). In 2006, a significant jump occurred; it was reported that 10.6%, or approximately one tenth of the U.S. population over the age of 15, was divorced (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008).

Statistics on marriage in American households vary slightly, but all show the same trend toward fewer married householders. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008), 71% of American households were headed by married couples in 2006—but these were not, by any measure, the nuclear family of the sitcoms. For instance, only 23% of U.S. householders that year were married and living with their own children (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). This is related to the fact that around one third of all Americans are part of stepfamilies (Jones, 2003). A stepfamily is defined as a married-couple family household with at least one child under age 18 who is a stepchild (i.e., a son or daughter through marriage, but not by birth) of the householder (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Children in stepfamily arrangements are likely to go back and forth between parents for visitations or as part of shared custody.

Attitudes toward marriage have changed considerably. Fewer Americans are married today, either due to divorce or because they have never married at all. In 1970, 72% of adults in the U.S. were married, but by 1996 that had dropped to 60% (Kuttner, 2002). A significant number of single adults have never been married. The U.S. Census Bureau (2006) reported that in 2006, 42% of U.S. citizens age 18 or older were unmarried and 60% of unmarried adults had never been married.

Studies also show that people are marrying later. In 1960, the average age for a woman to marry for the first time was 20, while men first married around 23. By 2001 these average ages had risen to 25 and 27, respectively (Kantrowitz, et al., 2001). In addition, more-highly educated people are marrying even later than the national average and are having fewer children and divorcing less often (APA, 2004). ← 5 | 6


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Families and Living Arrangements,” n.d., http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Families and Living Arrangements,” n.d., http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/hh-fam.html ← 6 | 7

The face of the American family has altered in other ways as well. Families themselves have gotten smaller over time. Family size for the nation as a whole has dropped from 3.29 in 1980 to 3.13 in 2006 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2008). Higher divorce rates and shifting marriage demographics have not only created more stepfamilies, but they have also dramatically increased the numbers of single-parent families, unmarried parents who may or may not cohabit, and grandparents who act as parents. Older generations are living longer; in 2000, households also included 5.5 million elders and disabled family members who needed care (APA, 2004). Changing laws and attitudes about homosexuality have also resulted in more openness about households with same-sex, joint householders who may or may not be married (depending on state laws) or have children. The U.S. Census Bureau (2008) reported that approximately 0.6% of U.S. households were headed by same-sex couples.

Rise in Single-Parent Families


VIII, 196
ISBN (Hardcover)
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2017 (June)
Technology--social aspects Technology and civilization Technological innovations
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2012. VI, 196 pp., num. ill.

Biographical notes

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti (Author)

Tracey Wilen-Daugenti is Vice President and Managing Director of the Apollo Research Institute and Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Media X program. She has authored several works on the future of higher education, including .edu: Technology and Learning Environments in Higher Education and a seven-book series on women and international business.


Title: Society 3.0