The Changing American family

sociological and demographic perspectives

Author: Scott J. South,State University of New York at Albany. Dept. of Sociology

Publisher: Westview Pr

ISBN: N.A

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 304

View: 7699

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The Age of Independence

Interracial Unions, Same-sex Unions, and the Changing American Family

Author: Michael J. Rosenfeld

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674024977

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 7877

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Michael Rosenfeld offers a new theory of family dynamics to account for the interesting and startling changes in marriage and family composition in the United States in recent years. His argument revolves around the independent life stage that emerged around 1960. This stage is experienced by young adults after they leave their parents' homes but before they settle down to start their own families. During this time, young men and women go away to college, travel abroad, begin careers, and enjoy social independence. This independent life stage has reduced parental control over the dating practices and mate selection of their children and has resulted in a sharp rise in interracial and same-sex unions--unions that were more easily averted by previous generations of parents. Complementing analysis of newly available census data from the entire twentieth century with in-depth interviews that explore the histories of families and couples, Rosenfeld proposes a conceptual model to explain many social changes that may seem unrelated but that flow from the same underlying logic. He shows, for example, that the more a relationship is transgressive of conventional morality, the more likely it is for the individuals to live away from their family and area of origin.

Our Fathers, Ourselves

Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family

Author: Peggy Drexler

Publisher: Rodale Books

ISBN: 1609614046

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 272

View: 7927

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There's no denying that a woman's relationship with her father is one of the most important in her life. And there's also no getting around how the quality of that relationship—good, bad, or otherwise—profoundly affects daughters in a multitude of ways. In Our Fathers, Ourselves, research psychologist, author and scholar Dr. Peggy Drexler examines the ways in which the father-daughter bond impacts women and offers helpful advice for creating a better, stronger, more rewarding relationship. Through her extensive research and interviews with women, Dr. Drexler paints an intimate, timely portrait of the modern father-daughter relationship. Women today are increasingly looking to their dads for a less-than-traditional bond, but one that still stands the test of time and provides support, respect, and guidance for the lives they lead today. Our Fathers, Ourselves is essential reading for any woman who has ever wondered how she could forge a closer connection with and gain a deeper understanding of her father.

Continuity and Change in the American Family

Author: Lynne M. Casper,Suzanne M. Bianchi

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 9780761920083

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 370

View: 949

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This book provides readers with a comprehensive description of the social demography of the American family. Looking at family continuity and change in the latter half of the 20th century, this book explores such topics as the growth in cohabitation and changes in childbearing and how these trends affect family life. Other topics include the changing lives of single mothers, fathers, and grandparents and increasing economic disparities among families; childcare and child well being; and combining paid work and family.

The Changing Rhythms of American Family Life

Author: Suzanne M. Bianchi,John P. Robinson,Melissa A. Milke

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 161044051X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 3423

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Over the last forty years, the number of American households with a stay-at-home parent has dwindled as women have increasingly joined the paid workforce and more women raise children alone. Many policy makers feared these changes would come at the expense of time mothers spend with their children. In Changing Rhythms of American Family Life, sociologists Suzanne M. Bianchi, John P. Robinson, and Melissa Milkie analyze the way families spend their time and uncover surprising new findings about how Americans are balancing the demands of work and family. Using time diary data from surveys of American parents over the last four decades, Changing Rhythms of American Family Life finds that—despite increased workloads outside of the home—mothers today spend at least as much time interacting with their children as mothers did decades ago—and perhaps even more. Unexpectedly, the authors find mothers' time at work has not resulted in an overall decline in sleep or leisure time. Rather, mothers have made time for both work and family by sacrificing time spent doing housework and by increased "multitasking." Changing Rhythms of American Family Life finds that the total workload (in and out of the home) for employed parents is high for both sexes, with employed mothers averaging five hours more per week than employed fathers and almost nineteen hours more per week than homemaker mothers. Comparing average workloads of fathers with all mothers—both those in the paid workforce and homemakers—the authors find that there is gender equality in total workloads, as there has been since 1965. Overall, it appears that Americans have adapted to changing circumstances to ensure that they preserve their family time and provide adequately for their children. Changing Rhythms of American Family Life explodes many of the popular misconceptions about how Americans balance work and family. Though the iconic image of the American mother has changed from a docile homemaker to a frenzied, sleepless working mom, this important new volume demonstrates that the time mothers spend with their families has remained steady throughout the decades.

Changing American Families

Author: Judy Root Aulette

Publisher: Prentice Hall

ISBN: 9780205699476

Category: Social Science

Page: 463

View: 3289

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Focusing on insights from feminist researchers and the role of gender in family life, this text explores both the structural features of society that shape families and the everyday personal experiences of individual family members--as well as the interplay between the two.

The Changing Landscape of Work and Family in the American Middle Class

Reports from the Field

Author: Elizabeth Rudd,Lara Descartes

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 146163430X

Category: Social Science

Page: 356

View: 2163

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The Changing Landscape of Work and Family in the American Middle Class explores the dynamics of the modern American family and how they have adapted to the changing economy and culture. Contributors from a variety of disciplines redefine the concept of the "model American family" and provide well-researched insight into what the new standards for judging family life and its functionality will be.

Student Achievement and the Changing American Family

Author: David Waltz Grissmer

Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society

ISBN: 9780833016164

Category: Education

Page: 131

View: 2965

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There is a considerable debate about the direction and causes of change in U.S. student performance over the last 25 years. This study (1) estimates the net effect of changing family characteristics and demographics on aptitude scores and (2) compares the expected changes to actual changes to estimate the effects of factors unrelated to family. The conclusions undercut the conventional wisdom about failing schools, deteriorating families, and ineffective public investments and policies. The study estimates that changing family characteristics would boost scores by about 7 percentile points. These gains come primarily from higher parental education and smaller family size, which translates into more resources per child. For non-Hispanic white students, the actual gains in scores were approximately the same as expected from family changes. However, black and Hispanic students made far larger gains than non-Hispanic white students, and only about one-third of the gains could be explained by changing family characteristics. These large unexplained gains for minority students may be evidence that additional public investment in schools and social programs and equal educational opportunity policies have had marked benefits. The authors caution that the results should not be interpreted to mean that conditions have improved for every student, family or school, only that averaging across all 14-18-year-old students over the last 20 years indicates a positive change.

A Population History of the United States

Author: Herbert S. Klein

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107379202

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 3896

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The first full-scale, one-volume survey of the demographic history of the United States has been fully updated here. From the arrival of humans in the Western Hemisphere to the current century, Klein analyses the basic demographic trends in the growth of the pre-conquest, colonial and national populations. From the origin and distribution of the Native Americans to late twentieth century changes in family structure, fertility and mortality, this updated edition incorporates recent research, including data from the 2010 census. In this definitive study, Klein explores regional patterns of fertility and mortality, trends in births, deaths and international and internal migrations, comparing them with contemporary European developments. The profound impact of historic declines in disease and mortality rates on the population structure of the late-twentieth century is explained, while the more recent urbanisation and rise of suburbia are examined within the context of new massive international migrations on North American society.

Labor's Love Lost

The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America

Author: N.A

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610448448

Category: Social Science

Page: 272

View: 5623

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Two generations ago, young men and women with only a high-school degree would have entered the plentiful industrial occupations which then sustained the middle-class ideal of a male-breadwinner family. Such jobs have all but vanished over the past forty years, and in their absence ever-growing numbers of young adults now hold precarious, low-paid jobs with few fringe benefits. Facing such insecure economic prospects, less-educated young adults are increasingly forgoing marriage and are having children within unstable cohabiting relationships. This has created a large marriage gap between them and their more affluent, college-educated peers. In Labor’s Love Lost, noted sociologist Andrew Cherlin offers a new historical assessment of the rise and fall of working-class families in America, demonstrating how momentous social and economic transformations have contributed to the collapse of this once-stable social class and what this seismic cultural shift means for the nation’s future. Drawing from more than a hundred years of census data, Cherlin documents how today’s marriage gap mirrors that of the Gilded Age of the late-nineteenth century, a time of high inequality much like our own. Cherlin demonstrates that the widespread prosperity of working-class families in the mid-twentieth century, when both income inequality and the marriage gap were low, is the true outlier in the history of the American family. In fact, changes in the economy, culture, and family formation in recent decades have been so great that Cherlin suggests that the working-class family pattern has largely disappeared. Labor's Love Lost shows that the primary problem of the fall of the working-class family from its mid-twentieth century peak is not that the male-breadwinner family has declined, but that nothing stable has replaced it. The breakdown of a stable family structure has serious consequences for low-income families, particularly for children, many of whom underperform in school, thereby reducing their future employment prospects and perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of economic disadvantage. To address this disparity, Cherlin recommends policies to foster educational opportunities for children and adolescents from disadvantaged families. He also stresses the need for labor market interventions, such as subsidizing low wages through tax credits and raising the minimum wage. Labor's Love Lost provides a compelling analysis of the historical dynamics and ramifications of the growing number of young adults disconnected from steady, decent-paying jobs and from marriage. Cherlin’s investigation of today’s “would-be working class” shines a much-needed spotlight on the struggling middle of our society in today’s new Gilded Age.

Marriages and Families in the 21st Century

A Bioecological Approach

Author: Tasha R. Howe

Publisher: SAGE Publications

ISBN: 1506340970

Category: Psychology

Page: 728

View: 639

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Marriages and Families in the 21st Century puts contemporary relationships and family structures in context for today’s students. Using a bioecological framework, the book reveals how families are shaped by multiple influences, from biological to cultural, that interact with one another. Chapters cover topics from parenting to gender issues within an interdisciplinary context, weaving in stories, visuals, and examples of diverse families to dispel longstanding myths. The book creates a personalized learning experience with frequent self-assessments and strengths exercises, while ensuring that students come to understand the research and build scientific analysis and critical thinking skills along the way. Robust digital tools and resources including SAGE edge and an interactive eBook with SAGE Premium Video help readers develop a multi-layered understanding of "what makes families tick" while challenging them to re-evaluate their own assumptions and experiences.

The Politics of Parenthood

Causes and Consequences of the Politicization and Polarization of the American Family

Author: Laurel Elder,Steven Greene

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 1438443951

Category: Political Science

Page: 182

View: 5456

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Traces the rising emphasis on parenthood in contemporary American politics. Certain events in ones life, such as marriage, joining the workforce, and growing older, can become important determinants of political attitudes and voting choice. Each of these events has been the subject of considerable study, but in The Politics of Parenthood, Laurel Elder and Steven Greene look at the political impact of one of lifes most challenging adult experienceshaving and raising children. Using a comprehensive array of both quantitative and qualitative analyses, Elder and Greene systematically reveal for the first time how the very personal act of raising a family is also a politically defining experience, one that shapes the political attitudes of Americans on a range of important policy issues. They document how political parties, presidential candidates, and the news media have politicized parenthood and the family over not just one election year, but the last several decades. They conclude that the way the themes of parenthood and the family have evolved as partisan issues at the mass and elite levels has been driven by, and reflects fundamental shifts in, American society and the structure of the American family.

Marriage Markets

How Inequality is Remaking the American Family

Author: June Carbone,Naomi Cahn

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199916594

Category: Law

Page: 288

View: 3866

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There was a time when the phrase "American family" conjured up a single, specific image: a breadwinner dad, a homemaker mom, and their 2.5 kids living comfortable lives in a middle-class suburb. Today, that image has been shattered, due in part to skyrocketing divorce rates, single parenthood, and increased out-of-wedlock births. But whether it is conservatives bewailing the wages of moral decline and women's liberation, or progressives celebrating the result of women's greater freedom and changing sexual mores, most Americans fail to identify the root factor driving the changes: economic inequality that is remaking the American family along class lines. In Marriage Markets, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn examine how macroeconomic forces are transforming our most intimate and important spheres, and how working class and lower income families have paid the highest price. Just like health, education, and seemingly every other advantage in life, a stable two-parent home has become a luxury that only the well-off can afford. The best educated and most prosperous have the most stable families, while working class families have seen the greatest increase in relationship instability. Why is this so? The book provides the answer: greater economic inequality has profoundly changed marriage markets, the way men and women match up when they search for a life partner. It has produced a larger group of high-income men than women; written off the men at the bottom because of chronic unemployment, incarceration, and substance abuse; and left a larger group of women with a smaller group of comparable men in the middle. The failure to see marriage as a market affected by supply and demand has obscured any meaningful analysis of the way that societal changes influence culture. Only policies that redress the balance between men and women through greater access to education, stable employment, and opportunities for social mobility can produce a culture that encourages commitment and investment in family life. A rigorous and enlightening account of why American families have changed so much in recent decades, Marriage Markets cuts through the ideological and moralistic rhetoric that drives our current debate. It offers critically needed solutions for a problem that will haunt America for generations to come.

Counted Out

Same-Sex Relations and Americans' Definitions of Family

Author: Brian Powell,Catherine Blozendahl,Claudia Geist,Lala Carr Steelman

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610447204

Category: Social Science

Page: 340

View: 461

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When state voters passed the California Marriage Protection Act (Proposition 8) in 2008, it restricted the definition of marriage to a legal union between a man and a woman. The act’s passage further agitated an already roiling national debate about whether American notions of family could or should expand to include, for example, same-sex marriage, unmarried cohabitation, and gay adoption. But how do Americans really define family? The first study to explore this largely overlooked question, Counted Out examines currents in public opinion to assess their policy implications and predict how Americans’ definitions of family may change in the future. Counted Out broadens the scope of previous studies by moving beyond efforts to understand how Americans view their own families to examine the way Americans characterize the concept of family in general. The book reports on and analyzes the results of the authors’ Constructing the Family Surveys (2003 and 2006), which asked more than 1,500 people to explain their stances on a broad range of issues, including gay marriage and adoption, single parenthood, the influence of biological and social factors in child development, religious ideology, and the legal rights of unmarried partners. Not surprisingly, the authors find that the standard bearer for public conceptions of family continues to be a married, heterosexual couple with children. More than half of Americans also consider same-sex couples with children as family, and from 2003 to 2006 the percentages of those who believe so increased significantly—up 6 percent for lesbian couples and 5 percent for gay couples. The presence of children in any living arrangement meets with a notable degree of public approval. Less than 30 percent of Americans view heterosexual cohabitating couples without children as family, while similar couples with children count as family for nearly 80 percent. Counted Out shows that for most Americans, however, the boundaries around what they define as family are becoming more malleable with time. Counted Out demonstrates that American definitions of family are becoming more expansive. Who counts as family has far-reaching implications for policy, including health insurance coverage, end-of-life decisions, estate rights, and child custody. Public opinion matters. As lawmakers consider the future of family policy, they will want to consider the evolution in American opinion represented in this groundbreaking book. A Volume in the American Sociological Association’s Rose Series in Sociology

Families That Work

Policies for Reconciling Parenthood and Employment

Author: Janet C. Gornick,Marcia K. Meyers

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610442512

Category: Social Science

Page: 404

View: 6429

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Parents around the world grapple with the common challenge of balancing work and child care. Despite common problems, the industrialized nations have developed dramatically different social and labor market policies—policies that vary widely in the level of support they provide for parents and the extent to which they encourage an equal division of labor between parents as they balance work and care. In Families That Work, Janet Gornick and Marcia Meyers take a close look at the work-family policies in the United States and abroad and call for a new and expanded role for the U.S. government in order to bring this country up to the standards taken for granted in many other Western nations. In many countries in Europe and in Canada, family leave policies grant parents paid time off to care for their young children, and labor market regulations go a long way toward ensuring that work does not overwhelm family obligations. In addition, early childhood education and care programs guarantee access to high-quality care for their children. In most of these countries, policies encourage gender equality by strengthening mothers' ties to employment and encouraging fathers to spend more time caregiving at home. In sharp contrast, Gornick and Meyers show how in the United States—an economy with high labor force participation among both fathers and mothers—parents are left to craft private solutions to the society-wide dilemma of "who will care for the children?" Parents—overwhelmingly mothers—must loosen their ties to the workplace to care for their children; workers are forced to negotiate with their employers, often unsuccessfully, for family leave and reduced work schedules; and parents must purchase care of dubious quality, at high prices, from consumer markets. By leaving child care solutions up to hard-pressed working parents, these private solutions exact a high price in terms of gender inequality in the workplace and at home, family stress and economic insecurity, and—not least—child well-being. Gornick and Meyers show that it is possible–based on the experiences of other countries—to enhance child well-being and to increase gender equality by promoting more extensive and egalitarian family leave, work-time, and child care policies. Families That Work demonstrates convincingly that the United States has much to learn from policies in Europe and in Canada, and that the often-repeated claim that the United States is simply "too different" to draw lessons from other countries is based largely on misperceptions about policies in other countries and about the possibility of policy expansion in the United States.