ERIC Number: ED201571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
The Multiple Possibilities of Decency: Family and Society in American History.
Schlossman, Steven L.
This paper focuses on three family-related issues: (1) the extraordinary complexity with which families perform educational and socializing functions and the corresponding danger of using simplistic cause and effect models to explain family behavior; (2) the ability of historical and contemporary American families to adapt to massive changes in social, economic, religious, and cultural life; and (3) the need for society to be more tolerant and supportive of variations in family structure, work patterns, and values. A case study of a New England family from the mid-19th century which may not always be justified, its role may be less welcome in education which have occurred from one generation to another. Historical and recent research are reviewed on a variety of family-related topics, including nuclear family life before the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of extended families, black family traditions, the role of the family in Colonial days, the current so-called crisis of morals in family life, demographic indicators of modern family life, and family resiliency. The conclusion is that despite problems, the family remains a strong and cherished institution in American society--the institution in which Americans of every social, ethnic, and racial background believe more strongly than any other. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Attitude Change, Black Culture, Case Studies, Cultural Influences, Divorce, Extended Family, Family Life, Family Role, Family (Sociological Unit), Futures (of Society), Life Style, Nuclear Family, One Parent Family, Parent Influence, Social Change, Social History, Sociocultural Patterns, United States History, Values
The Rand Corporation, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90406 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Note: Paper presented at conference on "The American Family: Moving toward the 21st Century" (Columbus, GA, May 13, 1980).