Friend's Email: Subject:I have found a book that I think you would enjoy
The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap
The Way We Never Were American Families and the Nostalgia Trap Author:Stephanie Coontz The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. 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, th... more »e division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.« less
Does an excellent job outlining actual trends in American families. Conclusions are backed up with lots and lots of facts with extensive annotations to make further research easy. It particular does a good job debunking the pop culture image of the American nuclear family and illustrating how many other family types are 'normal' in the US.
This is a dense book due to the amount of info in it. If you're looking for a quick overview of the subject, this book may be too weighty for you. If you're already somewhat familiar with some of the issues addressed here, this is a great book for further reading.
I got bogged down quite a bit in all the research and detail, but it was worth it to plow through this very helpful work. I've pulled from it many times to help people who have "failed" to live up to an image of the way we never were. Look elsewhere if you are searching for an "ideal" model to shoot for in your own personal life. In the meantime, Coontz's survival suggestion at the end is quite helpful, stay connected to the larger community around you for both support and service, contribution and succor.