She provides a lot of evidence, about both the reality and the stories. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching ecomic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice. The previous chapter had just ended Chapter 3 by saying that the self-reliant family will be proven to be a historical myth in the next chapter. She thought it would help me understand, frankly, that the demise of my marriage is hardly a new event in the course of human history - or one to be necessarily deeply lamented. This is excellent in terms of giving her argument more substance than all her opponents' books combined, but it makes for a dry read.
As of 1987, only one-third of women aged 19 to 44 had ever cohabited, and cohabitation before marriage was a risk factor for divorce. For the past few weeks, he's been immersed in a book by social historian Stephanie Coontz. But most people eventually marry. In the landmark United States Supreme Court case , justices cited Coontz's book, Marriage, A History in their decision to grant marriage equality to same-sex couples. I enjoyed the ways in which she traces the path from public- and civic-minded families-within-communities to the individualistic model of parenting and family life. Selective memory is not a bad thing when it leads children to forget the arguments in the back seat of the car and to look forward to their next vacation.
Other persistent but equally inaccurate myths include the belief that marriage is a dying institution, that black families are always in crisis, and that single parent-families produce dysfunctional children. Additionally, there were times when I felt Coontz had a bit of an agenda; she appears to be on a bit of a soapbox against blame-the-victim thinking with regard to poverty. Crime, for instance, declined 20% between 1990 and 1998, and yet the number of murders covered by the media increased by 600%, leading many to believe that we live in a much more dangerous world than before. She changes the way we understand the past, present, and the future. She thought it would help me understand, frankly, that the demise of my marriage is hardly a new event in the course of human history - or one to be necessarily deeply lamented. This is a problem faced by any aging history book, so I can't fault Coontz for it. That being said, it was a dense read.
. I am anxious to know what she would report on the American Family in the last couple of decades. This book was informative, and the subject matter highly provocative. Bra-Burners and Family Bashers: Feminism, Working Women, Consumerism, and the Family 8. She shows that the 1950's offered unusual opportunities for men to attend college, thanks to government programs, and that even for men who did not go to college a booming economy and strong job market allowed for early marriage and for a husband to securely support a family. Coontz's book makes for an absorbing, sometimes shocking, often wryly funny read. Coontz believes that many of the social issues today are blamed on the dissolution of the traditional family when in fact families are the ones impacted and affected by these issues, not the cause.
She teaches history and family studies and is Director of Research and Public Education for the , which she chaired from 2001-2004. A new epilogue takes a stab at addressing some of today's mistaken assumptions about the family. I doubt that culture can so totally override parents' genetic tendencies to want to ensure the success of their own genetic offspring. My skepticism about the doomsayers has since been proven correct. One caveat, this book was published in 1992 but holds up well. Life in the 1950s was no different. With ninety pages of end notes and almost ten statistics per paragraph, the book is much more of an academic thesis than a social or political commentary.
It's always easier to stay on the sidelines and claim status as a non-participant when things don't work out. In The Way We Never Were, acclaimed historian Stephanie Coontz provides a myth-shattering examination of two centuries of the American family, sweeping away misconceptions about the past that cloud current debates about domestic life. Now more relevant than ever, The Way We Never Were continues to be a potent corrective to dangerous nostalgia for an American tradition that never really existed. Unprecedented government meddling into family affairs? I'd This totally changed the way I think about the history of the past century. Absolutely everybody who is a member of a family, or thinks families are important should read this book.
Coontz uncovers facts and figures that contradict the popular myth of the family of the 50s, 60s and earlier, as well as shining a light on both conservatives' and liberals' tendencies to blame the other for society's ills. It appears to rely only on verifiable, reproducible scientific observations; none of the persons who support Donald Trump has read this book! The 1950s do not present a workable model of how to conduct our personal lives today, Coontz argues, and neither does any other era from our cultural past. An important contribution to the current debate on family values. It provided a much-needed corrective to the romanticised view of the 1950s family, and began to defuse some of the more hysterical and fatalistic discussions about teen pregnancy and the underclass. This book suggests that we should keep our eyes open to creeping incursions into our self-image. What I got from this is the greatest single factor impacting families is economic; poverty, especially childhood poverty, is the greatest predictor of family dysfunction.
Those pages are difficult to read even if the subject matter is not tough to process. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice. Today almost 30 percent of American households comprise just one person. Stephanie Koontz knows her stuff. My family was different compared to every other family in America.