Publisher description for American families : a multicultural reader / edited by Stephanie Coontz with Maya Parson and Gabrielle Raley.


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This collection testifies to the extraordinary variety of families in the United States, revealing that family arrangements have always been diverse and have often been in flux. Case studies describe the wide array of family forms and values, gender roles, and parenting practices that have prevailed in different times and places for different population groups. Paying special attention to the intersections and cross-currents of class, race, and ethnicity, as well as their differential impact on gender, sexuality, and personal identity, the contributors highlight the socioeconomic and cultural forces that affect the organization and internal dynamics of family life.

These articles provide a variety of perspectives that nonetheless point to a common theme: the myth of family homogeneity has not merely excluded some groups; it has deformed our understanding of all families. Social policies and psychological practice must take account of the complexity, contradictions, conflicts, and accommodations that shape people's individual and group experience of family life.

Drawing on historical, sociological, anthropological, and psychological research, American Families provides an overview of the theoretical and conceptual issues involved in studying the variations and interactions among different, constantly changing, families. It also considers the social, political, and practical implications of viewing family life through the lens of multiculturalism.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Family -- United States.
Multiculturalism -- United States.
Ethnicity -- United States.
Work and family -- United States.