Families, History and Social Change

Life Course and Cross-cultural Perspectives

Tamara K Hareven; Barbara Trepagnier

First Edition • December 1, 1999 • 408 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813390796 • $49.00 USD$56.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786743414 • $33.99 USD$39.99 CAN

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One of the prevailing myths about the American family is that there once existed a harmonious family with three generations living together, and that this ideal family broke down under the impact of urbanization and industrialization. The essays in Families, History, and Social Change challenge this myth and provide dramatic revisions of simplistic notions about change in the American family. In these interdisciplinary essays that are deeply rooted in history, Hareven provides important perspectives on family relations in the present, dispels myths about family relations in the past, offers new directions in research and interpretation, and revises our understanding of social change. Hareven’s essays, which are based on thirty years of research, combine empirical evidence with theoretical frameworks and discussions of the state of the art in this exciting field. The essays cover a wide spectrum of issues and topics such as the organization of the family and the household, the networks available to children as they were growing up, the role of the family in the process of industrialization, the division of labor in the family along gender lines, and the relations between the generations in the later years of life. Coincidentally, the essays revolve around three central themes: The family’s interaction with the process of industrialization, the life course, and the development of the field of family history—and its future directions. They are both interdisciplinary and cross-cultural.

Professor Hareven is a pioneer and leader in the development of the field of family history. Her work makes a major contribution to the theoretical and substantive aspects of scholarship on family life, past and present, and on social change. Her essays also provide a fine understanding of this field’s development.

Tamara K. Hareven is Unidel Professor of Family Studies at the University of Delaware. Dr. Hareven is the founder of the Journal of Family History, for which she served as editor for two decades. She is also the founder of The History of the Family: An International Quarterly, which she coedits with Dr. Andrejs Plakans. She is author of several books and numerous articles and has edited collections in the history of the family, work and family, the life course, and aging. Her best known book is Family Time and Industrial Time.

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