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Brave New Families: Stories Of Domestic Upheaval In Late Twentieth Century America

Brave New Families: Stories Of Domestic Upheaval In Late Twentieth Century America

by Judith Stacey

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an unusual exploration of post-industrial society American families, Stacey, a sociologist at UC-Davis, argues that because of economic and social developments, including feminism, the modern nuclear family is giving way to complex, extended households formed by divorce, remarriage and step-kinship. The author narrates crucial periods in the lives of 30 relatives and friends belonging to two Silicon Valley kin networks representing a wide variety of lifestyles: single parenthood, homosexual or blended households, along with others committed to evangelical teachings. While Stacey may be faulted for the extent of her intrusion into her subject's lives, and the projection of her feminist views, she nevertheless thereby adds intensely human dimensions to the study. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The so-called traditional family, consisting of breadwinning father and homemaking mother, is a relatively recent institution in American society. It is also an institution in the midst of evolution, especially in the Silicon Valley, according to sociologist Stacey's observations of women and families in the center of the United States electronics industry. This study originated as a survey of changes in working-class family life but focuses instead on in-depth portraits of two women and their complex ``recombinant'' families, consisting of children, stepchildren, ex-spouses, and former in-laws, and overlaid with elements of feminist reform and Christian evangelism. Although there are some interesting insights into the future of family life in post-industrial society, most are lost in the book's soap opera-like tales of family hardship.-- Karen McNally Bensing, The Benjamin Rose Inst. Lib., Cleveland

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