ERIC Number: ED201401
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
The Transformation of the Family: Implications for Child Care Policy.
This paper summarizes theories of American family organization, points out social changes that have had an impact on family structure, and discusses implications of current social and political conditions for child care policy. It is suggested that monistic characterizations of the family, emphasizing self-sufficiency and only one kind of family structure, may be less viable than a pluralistic characterization that recognizes various co-occurring family structures that result from changes in the economy and in society. Several recent social changes that have altered family structures, including greater choice for women regarding childbearing and childspacing, more career opportunities for women, and inflation, are discussed. It is emphasized that for the first time in U.S. history, the typical school age child has a mother who works outside the home. Statistical data reflecting recent changes in the American family are seen as consistent with the theory of familistic plurality: the family is now characterized by (1) changing family structures, (2) less uniformity in child rearing environments, (3) a greater probability of dependence on extra-family supports, and (4) stress, especially on young single parent families. Enrollment statistics indicate that the majority of children with working mothers are in unlicensed informal child care arrangements. In conclusion, political implications of efforts to organize support systems for the transformed American family are pointed out. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Support Systems
Note: Paper presented at Planning and Designing a Non-Sexist Society Conference (Los Angeles, CA, May 1979).