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Molly Monahan Lang & Barbara Risman

In: Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies

Chapter 17: Blending into Equality: Family Diversity and Gender Convergence

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Blending into Equality: Family Diversity and Gender Convergence
Blending into equality: Family diversity and gender convergence

Two major trends occurred in gender and families in the last half of the twentieth century in Western post-industrial societies:an increasing diversity of family structures and a trend toward what we call gender convergence between women's and men's life patterns, both inside families and outside of them. Economic and cultural revolutions, including deindustrialization and feminist social movements, have led to an increasing assortment and acceptability of family forms, as well as a weakening of previously rigid gender expectations. The trend toward gender convergence can be seen in families headed by two parents or one, gay or straight. It has also been encouraged - and discouraged - by governmental family policies. While ...

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