The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap “Leave It to Beaver” was not a documentary, Stephanie Coontz points out; neither the. By Stephanie Coontz In , I published The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap, a search for the supposed. The Way We Never Were has ratings and reviews. Wealhtheow said: Coontz presents the historical facts of American family life and political and.

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Assumptions so deep and unexamined that they seem like Truth are carefully teased out into the open, and examined in the light of history.

The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap

In them Coontz extensively addresses the changes which have taken place since the publication of the first edition, and the ways in which her predictions have proved qere or not. But it is also about a number of other subjects, too, including analyzing how families are structured wsre how they related to the world around them; looking at family structures throughout US history; analyzing the black family to show that black family structures can be different from white ones because of what the black Wway experience has done to black communities; and looking at why our economic system, not feminism or liberalism, is to blame for the current fragmentation of the US family.

Want to Read saving…. Hah– nothing is new under the sun. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. During the ‘s real wages increased by more than they had in the entire previous half-century.

The Way We Never Were – Author Stephanie Coontz

Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Tge Way We Never Were shows that mever have not suddenly and inexplicably “gone bad” and points to ways that we can help families do better.

Pick a favorite presumption about American families during better times Stephanie Coontz can’t thank Dan Quayle enough. The traditional family where dad went to work and mom and kids stayed home has been the privilege of only the very wealthy. This reads more like a text book but the information is excellent. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor foontz gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

Teenage pregnancy a modern problem, driven by easy access to birth control and the liberal media?


Thanks for telling us about the problem. I especially would have liked to see a more extensive treatment of evolutionary psychology. This revised edition includes a new introduction and epilogue, looking at what has and has not changed since the original publication inand exploring how the clash between growing gender equality and rising economic inequality is reshaping family life, marriage, and male-female relationships in our modern era.

There was Quayle, conjuring up a nostalgic vision of “traditional” American values sustained by “traditional” families that looked very much like s sitcom icons. The family Bush has appeared as a more traditional survivor family with a similar persistence of love and loyalty in the coonhz of loss and pain, and yet, being “traditional,” accoutered with all sorts of Little-League and car-pool nostalgia.

New Book for spring! This book was informative, and the subject matter highly provocative. Does anyone in tge year really still believe the s family is any kind of model for thee The Family and Outside Intervention.

Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Learn more about Amazon Prime. All Fox television commentators and Tea Party leaders should be forced to read and review the thing.

Much of the book is written in a manner akin to that of a textbook but there are somewhat random passages neveg which Coontz begins speaking in the first person. However, while Coontz backs up many of her observations with statistical evidence, she doesn’t always.

I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking to delve a little deeper into all those claims that things were so much better back then.

Anyone advocating a patriarchal family model taken from back in time when men, women, and children knew their place needs to study the history of the American family first, and Coontz adeptly proves that few have. Like many millennials, I have little faith in collective action. Nov 30, Michele rated it really liked it Shelves: Without minimizing the serious new problems in American families, Coontz warns that a consoling nostalgia coonfz a largely mythical past of “traditional values” is a trap that can only cripple our capacity to solve coonntz problems.

This was the real thing. May 10, K rated it really liked it Shelves: In the nineteenth century, the age of sexual consent in some states was nine or ten, and alcoholism and drug abuse were more rampant than today The Way We Never Were: Books mever Stephanie Coontz.

What I got from this is the greatest single factor impacting families is economic; poverty, especially childhood poverty, is the greatest predictor of family dysfunction. It’s more of a research book An important book debunking the myth of the “traditional” family, and the political claims often made about the deterioration of the family as the core of various social ills.


I’d This totally changed the way I think about the history of the past century. Add both to Cart Add both to List. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, The Way We Never Were shows that people have not suddenly and inexplicably “gone bad” and points to ways that we can help families do better.

Feb 25, Miles rated it really liked it. My only complaint is a minor one. But by learning how complex and multifaceted the experience of family life has been in the past, along with the trade-offs, reversals, and diverse outcomes that have accompanied change, we may be able to develop a greater tolerance for the ambiguities of contemporary family life, rather than longing for a past that was never as idyllic or uncomplicated as we sometimes imagine Despite agreeing with her much of the time, I still found these chapters a bit sloggish — she does best when she is offering a historical view of the American family.

With that said, there’s nothing confrontational about this book. All her evidence contradicts the cries of the angry backlash against women’s rights, gay rights, single mothers, and “immorality,” and proves that in the end it all comes down to the threat these movements pose to patriarchy.

The historical evidence reveals that families have always been in flux and often in crisis, and that families have been most successful wherever they have built meaningful networks beyond their own boundaries.

Of course, myth is rooted in fact, and certain phenomena of the s generated the Ozzie and Harriet icon. For example, she writes of one society in which parents supposedly were perfectly happy having little or no contact with their children whatsoever, leaving their upbringing completely to others.

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How Love Conquered Marriage. You could update her statistics by 25 years and still be able to use a substantial part of her arguments today. The difference between that generation and mine is nsver their non-idealistic family moments remain family secrets. We hear about families in crisis and the breakdown of society and how if we could only return to traditional values, life would be just peachy again.