A highly original account of the evolution of the family unit Current debates about the future of the family are often based on serious misconceptions about its past. Arguing that there is no biologically mandated or universally functional family form, Stephanie Coontz traces the complexity and variety of family arrangements in American history, from Native American kin grA highly original account of the evolution of the family unit Current debates about the future of the family are often based on serious misconceptions about its past. Arguing that there is no biologically mandated or universally functional family form, Stephanie Coontz traces the complexity and variety of family arrangements in American history, from Native American kin groups to the emergence of the dominant middle-class family ideal in the 1890s.Surveying and synthesizing a vast range of previous scholarship, as well as engaging more particular studies of family life from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, Coontz offers a highly original account of the shifting structure and function of American families. Her account challenges standard interpretations of the early hegemony of middle-class privacy and “affective individualism,” pointing to the rich tradition of alternative family behaviors among various ethnic and socioeconomic groups in America, and arguing that even middle-class families went through several transformations in the course of the nineteenth centure.The present dominant family form, grounded in close interpersonal relations and premised on domestic consumption of mass-produced household goods has arisen, Coontz argues, from a long and complex series of changing political and economic conjunctures, as well as from the destruction or incorporation of several alternative family systems. A clear conception of American capitalism’s combined and uneven development is therefore essential if we are to understand the history of the family as a key social and economic unit. Lucid and detailed, The Social Origins of Private Life is likely to become the standard history of its subject....
|Title||:||The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families 1600-1900 (Haymarket)|
|Number of Pages||:||366 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families 1600-1900 (Haymarket) Reviews
Coontz produces another useful social history. This one explores how the conventions of private life and the expectations of domesticity were created in the 19th century, culminating in the 1870's-1890's. Coontz does a good job of both spelling out cross-class and racial commonalities in this formation, and more significantly exploring the differences in those structures and the reasons that the concepts of domesticity were taken up. It also explores the contradictions contained within these formations, and the reason for their eventual transformation.
This is required reading for a seminar I am currently taking. The book was interesting, but I would have liked it better if the text was split into two books. There was too much information packed into one textbook. I did enjoy learning about the structures of families from the colonial age to the twentieth century.
Private lives, but only for the Americas. No. Not that. Only the US. No. Not that. White US. Yet the title is "the social origins of private life". Cute.