Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States / Edition 1

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"In Making Marriage Work, Kristin Celello offers an insightful and wide-ranging account of marriage and divorce in America in the twentieth century, focusing on the development of the idea of marriage as "work." "Celello reveals how, over the decades, visiting marriage counselors, reading advice columns in women's magazines, and watching portrayals of marriage and divorce on television and in film effectively ingrained the notion of marriage as work into the minds of American women and men. Examining the rise of the marriage counseling profession and the emergence of other relationship "experts" between the 1930s and the 1990s, Celello describes how professionals and the public responded to fears about divorce and family breakdown and worked together to define the nature of marital work." Making Marriage Work offers a new interpretation of married life in the United States, illuminating the interaction of marriage and divorce over the century and revealing how the idea the marriage requires work became part of Amercans' collective consciousness.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The book's strength is in demonstrating the tenacity of the idea that marriages can be saved through hard work and the persistence of gender imbalance, which continues to place the burden of the effort on women.—Choice

Fascinating. . . . Would be an excellent addition to a course on the sociology of marriage, family or gender roles.—Journal of Social History

A lucid description of the rise and sociological impact of the concept that spouses must work hard to make their marriage work.—Catholic News Service

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807872215
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristin Celello is assistant professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Making Marriage Work 1

1 The Chaos of Modern Marriage: Experts, Divorce, and the Origins of Marital Work, 1900-1940 13

2 Can War Marriages Be Made to Work? Keeping Women on the Marital Job in War and Peace 44

3 They Learned to Love Again: Marriage Saving in the 1950s 72

4 Radical Feminists, Liberated Housewives, and Total Women: Searching for the Future of Marriage, 1963-1980 103

5 Super Marital Sex and the Second Shift: New Work for Wives in the 1980s and 1990s 133

Epilogue: Still Working 163

Notes 167

Bibliography 207

Index 223

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