Designing Families is a thought-provoking examination of the challenges facing the nuclear family as it enters the new millenium. John Scanzoni sets the issue of change in families in aN historical and cross-cultural perspective tracing the development of the family from the Agricultural Age to the Information Age.

New Families—New Ideas

New families—new ideas

During the summer of 1996, while riding the train from Stockholm to Copenhagen, I couldn't help overhearing a conversation between two passengers seated behind me. He was a Swedish man in his 20s, she a German woman in her 70s. Communicating in English, they were remarking enthusiastically about the many children traveling with us. She was saying how delightful it was to have her own grandchildren call her Grandma, and he was sharing fond memories of his grandparents. She then volunteered that when people marry, “children must come first. When I married, I gave up my profession for many years, and that way we stayed married and raised good children.” They then both lamented how “people today get married and ...

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