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American Families: A Multicultural Reader by…
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American Families: A Multicultural Reader

by Stephanie Coontz

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0415915740, Paperback)

Is the traditional American family under attack? This reader testifies to the extraordinary diversity of American families, revealing the recent family values debate as a denial of this diversity. Paying special attention to variations of class, race and ethnicity, the contributors highlight the larger social factors and dynamics of family change. These articles provide a variety of perspectives that nonetheless point to a common theme: families in America have always been diverse and have always been in flux. They expose the myth of family homogeneity, showing that the "modern" family - male breadwinner and female homemaker, with the kids at home or school - only became a reality for most Americans in the 1920s, and that it peaked in the 1950s. Case studies demonstrate the existence of competing or co-existing family types, with different family, gender and parenting arrangements. These articles describe a wide variety of family forms and values that have worked in different times and places for different population groups. Other articles shed light on the psychological and socioeconomic factors that affect the family. Drawing on historical, anthropological and psychological research, "American Families" provides an overview of the theoretical and conceptual issues surrounding the family. It also considers both the political and practical implications of viewing family life through the lens of multiculturalism. Ultimately, any system of family studies founded on the premise that there is only a single family tradition and ideal in America for all circumstances and segments of society will inevitably fail to meet the needs of many families. As family forms change, so too must our legal and emotional definitions of the family.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:31 -0400)

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