American Families Past and Present: Social Perspectives on Transformations

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Susan M. Ross
Rutgers University Press, 2006 - 344 pagine
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American families today are noted for their wide variety of guises. Among the mix are single-parent families, childless-by-choice marriages, nuclear families, multigenerational families, and same-sex couples. Although this diversity has come under the scrutiny of everyone from politicians to the media, family diversity is not a recent development of contemporary culture. While nuclear families with a mother, a father, and children are the presumed historical norm, people have always resided in an assortment of family formations.

Bringing together essays by twenty-one distinguished scholars who have helped shape the field of family sociology in the last decade, this interdisciplinary anthology examines variation within family experience, especially as it has evolved across racial, ethnic, social, gender, and generational lines. The essays place historical and institutional frameworks at the center of the discussion.

The first part of the book focuses on the development of socially constructed dominant ideologies, demographic shifts in family composition, and historical perspectives on family rituals and mythmaking. Essays in the second part provide a historical perspective on the interdependence between the family as a social institution and other institutions. Selections highlight changes in women's roles, the impact of economic, racial, and social inequalities on household labor and child care, the effects of war and military service, and the implications of the political climate for family welfare policy.

In-depth chapter introductions along with critical questions to spark class discussion make this an ideal text for courses focusing on family composition, trends, and controversies in the United States.

 

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Indice

Family Transformations in SocialHistorical Perspective
7
Bastardy Fitness and the Invention of Adolescence
34
The Modernization of Grandparenthood
52
Historical Perspectives on Family Diversity
65
Bringing Women Back
82
Multigenerational Families in NineteenthCentury America
101
Calling Cards and Money
119
The Invention of Family Times
132
Women and Infertility
208
Americas Home Front Children in World War II
227
Cold War Warm Hearth
244
Racial Ethnic Women
259
The Arduous Transition to the Industrial North
271
Who Deserves Help? Who Must Provide?
286
Money and Morality
297
Child Care and Social Citizenship for Women
311

with Family Formations
151
Do Wedding Dresses Come in Lavender? The Prospects
175
Medicine and Sciences Influence on Fertility and Mothering Behavior
189
Leave Policy from
323
List of Contributors
339
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