• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Conclusion: The Revolution that Never Ends
Conclusion: The revolution that never ends

Despite its many virtues, the rise in the West of the individualistic, nuclear, child-oriented family which is the sole outlet of both sexual and affective bonding is thus by no means always an unmixed blessing. This [new family style] is no more permanent a phenomenon than were the economic ties of property and interest that united families in the past, even if this is the rough general direction in which Western society has been moving over the last three hundred years.1

Historian Lawrence Stone helps us see that the social patterns we call families never stand still. It is hard for us to imagine that what we now experience did not always exist. And it ...

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