The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia

The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia

  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

The American family has come a long way from the days of the idealized family portrayed in iconic television shows of the 1950s and 1960s. The four volumes of The Social History of the American Family explore the vital role of the family as the fundamental social unit across the span of American history. Experiences of family life shape so much of an individual's development and identity, yet the patterns of family structure, family life, and family transition vary across time, space, and socioeconomic contexts. Both the definition of who or what counts as family and representations of the “ideal” family have changed over time to reflect changing mores, changing living standards and lifestyles, and increased levels of social heterogeneity.

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