A lot of things are changing at once: how we work, how we create wealth, how we spend, how we have children, etc.
In an interesting and longish article at the American Interest, among many interesting observations, Walter Russel Mead observes the following about our relation to government:
In the 19thcentury, American communities were small and generally self-managed. Most Americans lived in small towns or in rural areas where government really was something people did for themselves. The “state” scarcely existed; outside port inspectors and postal officials, the federal government was largely invisible. And even at the state level, local communities were much more autonomous than they generally are now. Local mayors and selectmen had very few mandates coming down from on high; people managed their own schools and roads and other elements of their common life by their own lights.
In the 20th century Americans became more politically passive as the state grew. The citizen was less involved in making government and more involved in watching it, commenting on it, and picking candidates who were sold the way other consumer goods are marketed: you voted for which party and candidates you supported, but more and more of the business of government was carried on by permanent civil servants acting under expert guidance. Government did much more to you, and you did less of it yourself.
The shift from producer to consumer took place in many fields – often with very important and beneficial results, but always taking a certain toll on the autonomy and dignity of many people.