ERIC Number: ED197808
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
The American Family: Myth & Reality.
Howard, A. Eugene
Change in family forms and functions is not necessarily evil or frightening unless one chooses to deify and cling to the past and to insist upon the rightness of by-gone ways. The crisis of American families today is not a crisis of form, or size or function, of governmental interference, economics or energy; it is a crisis of emotions, of affection and antagonism, of attachment and rejection, of connectedness and discontinuity. The contemporary nuclear family, proclaimed by many people as the eternal, God-given form of the family, has been and is now nothing of the kind. Family has always meant many things to many people. A brief exploration of aristocratic European and European and American peasant families of the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as 19th century working-class and bourgeois families, can shed light on much of our present variety of family structures, forms and functions in America. Changes in family forms will come and go as economic and political conditions change but the sense of connectedness is the essence of family. For children and for all of us, death is an important part of sensing connectedness to the tribe, for only in learning how to pass on and how to deal with death, do we know how to live and relish the richness of family. (Author/RH)
Descriptors: Death, Emotional Experience, Family Environment, Family Relationship, Family (Sociological Unit), Family Structure, Social Attitudes, Social Change, Social History
National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1834 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20009 ($2.00; discount on quantity orders for 10 or more copies).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington, DC.