Family Life in 20th-century America

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No other century promoted such rapid change in American families than the twentieth century did. Through most of the first half of the century families were two-parent plus children units, but by the 1980s and 1990s divorce was common in half of the homes and many families were single-parent or included step-parents, step-siblings and half-siblings. The major changes in opinions and even some laws on race, gender and sexuality during the 1960s and 1970s brought change to families as well. Some families were headed by gay parents, lived in communes or other non-traditional homes, were of mixed race, or had adopted children. Family life had changed dramatically in less than 50 years. The change in the core make-up of what was considered a family ushered in new celebrations and holidays, ways of cooking, eating, and entertainment, and even daily activities. In this detailed look at family life in America, Coleman, Ganong and Warzinick discuss home and work, family ceremonies and celebrations, parenting and children, divorce and single-parent homes, gay and lesbian families, as well as cooking and meals, urban vs. suburban homes, and ethnic and minority families. Reference resources include a timeline, sources for further reading, photographs and an index.

Volumes in the Family Life in America series focus on the day-to-day lives and roles of families throughout history. The roles of all family members are defined and information on daily family life, the role of the family in society, and the ever-changing definition of the term family' are discussed. Discussion of the nuclear family, single parent homes, foster and adoptive families, stepfamilies, and gay and lesbian families are included where appropriate. Topics such as meal planning, homes, entertainment and celebrations, are discussed along with larger social issues that originate in the home like domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and divorce. Ideal for students and general readers alike, books in this series bring the history of everyday people to life.

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