The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia by Stephanie Coontz

By Stephanie Coontz

The manner We by no means Were examines centuries of yankee kinfolk lifestyles and shatters a sequence of myths and half-truths that burden glossy households. putting present kinfolk dilemmas within the context of far-reaching financial, political, and demographic adjustments, Coontz sheds new mild on such modern issues as parenting, privateness, love, the department of work alongside gender traces, the black kinfolk, feminism, and sexual practice.

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Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999); E. M. Hetherington, S. Henderson, and D. Reiss, Adolescent Siblings in Stepfamilies: Family Functioning and Adolescent Adjustment (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Series 259, v. 64, 1999). For a critique of overgeneralizations about the effects of family structure, see Judith Stacey, "Dadaism in the Nineties: Getting Past 30 of 358 04/07/2014 07:00 PM The Way We Never Were: American Families And...

This represent an actual increase in rates of abuse or a heightened consciousness about the problem? During the same period, parents' self-reports about very severe violence toward their children declined 47 percent. 2' Assessing the direction of family change is further complicated because many contemporary trends represent a reversal of developments that were themselves rather recent. The expectation that the family should be the main source of personal fulfillment, for example, was not traditional in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as we shall see in chapter 5.

In a typical recent poll, for example, 71 percent of respondents said they were "very satisfied" with their own family life, but more than half rated the overall quality of family life as negative: "I'm okay; you're not. 1129 This seemingly schizophrenic approach does not reflect an essentially intolerant attitude. People worry about families, and to the extent that they associate modern social ills with changes in family life, they are ambivalent about innovations. Voters often defeat measures to grant unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual, the same rights as married ones.

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