Families Past and Present Reading Assignment 1

Families Past and Present Reading Assignment 1

Families Past and Present
The readings for this topic focus on the evolution of the family and the evolution of how scholars, politicians, pundits, etc. view the family. One thing is clear; the family is in constant motion.
One of the underlying themes of these readings is that the changing family structure in the west and in particular the U.S. has been highly contentious. For some the family today is in crisis mode where identities and roles are lost and where families (the cornerstone of a strong society) are falling apart. For others the family today is seen as a space where relationships are based on ideas of equality, mutual exchange of benefits, and the meeting of emotional needs. While this may make relationships harder to maintain, supporters believe this allows for individuals to find a true happiness.
“Introduction” by Skolnick & Skolnick
1) Identify explain the family myths. Why are they myths?
2) Identify and explain the three components of the Triple Revolution
“The Theoretical Importance of Family” by Goode
1) Goode opens the reading with a discussion of the past and present role of the family. What were some roles the family played that some now consider are greatly diminished or completely taken over by other institutions?
2) Explain the central position of the family in society.
3) Explain why the Family is Theoretically Significant
4) Explain the Familistic Package
“Keyword Families” by Meadow & Stacey
1) Provide a summary of how the family is defined and debated by different interests including policy makers, entertainment industry, and cultural critics.
2) Explain the family modernization thesis? Why does it matter?

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