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Stephanie Coontz is a social analyst, family historian, writer, and a professor. She teaches at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Her research interests include the historical accuracy, myths, and facts that surround our present concept of traditional family values. In her book, The visa mer Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap, Coontz disputes many of the myths about the decade of the 1950s. Her book, The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families explores new economic and social pressure put on families. Coontz is a frequent commentator on CNN and NBC news programs and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She was the keynote speaker at the Thirteenth Annual Maine Women's Studies Conference in 1998. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre
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I learned a lot, it was very interesting! Some stuff was naturally outdated given that it was published in 1992 but it was nonetheless really informative.
ninagl | 11 andra recensioner | Jan 7, 2023 |
Impeccably researched and truly illuminating. The updated edition is worth upgrading to, too.
sparemethecensor | 11 andra recensioner | Nov 1, 2022 |
The book gave a good idea of just how many different ways there are of considering marriage. Coontz looks at marriage across different cultures and throughout history. Her thesis is that over time marriage has gone from a public institution with a strict hierarchical structure to a private one based on equality and mutual esteem. If nothing else, the books teaches you that anyone who says that "X is the way marriage has always been" is nearly always wrong.
eri_kars | 16 andra recensioner | Jul 10, 2022 |
This is one of those books where I underlined something on nearly every page. Coontz believes in getting beyond rhetoric and into data to figure out what works and doesn't work for families. She doesn't try to live in some unrealistic fantasy that the traditional[1] nuclear family is going to come back or that solves all problems. Instead, she examines the strengths and weaknesses of the many different family types that exist in the US -- they all have both strengths and weaknesses relative to the others.

One of the strongest points Coontz makes is that, historically, strong families, whatever their form, have been associated with strong, stable economies. The 1950s was a time when people married young and women stayed home with children largely because a man with a high school education could earn a salary that could support a family. This has rarely been true in other times[2]. As wages have stagnated, families have been put under more pressure. Coontz argues that this is the cause of many of the social ills that plague the US[3] and the cause of many of the changes in family life, not that the changes in family life cause the ills.

She also observes that not all the change is bad. Many people -- especially women -- are happier now than in the past.

These book is a short and important read for anyone who cares about the culture wars that surround family life or just wants to be reassured that deviating from the increasingly-non-normative normal doesn't mean disaster.

[1] By which everyone really means 1950s / 1960s
[2] Before the 20th century, and to a large degree in the early 20th century, everyone in the family contributed to the family economy. This was easier when the family economy was not primarily a cash economy.
[3] Although she also points out that when the present is compared to data rather than rose tinted memory, the ills of the present aren't as bad as they seem.
… (mer)
eri_kars | 1 annan recension | Jul 10, 2022 |



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