What has happened to the American family in the last few decades? And what are these changes doing to our children? David Elkind, renowned child psychologist and author of The Hurried Child, has devoted his career to these urgent questions. This eloquent book puts together all the puzzling facts and conflicting accounts to show us as never before what the American family has become.
In style and content...this book is addressed to the general reader...[It] seeks to answer the question: What should we do as traditional family structures seem to be crumbling?...[Elkind] thinks the solution lies with a change in parental behavior. He sees contemporary families 'stumbling' toward a new balance between the needs of the children and the needs of the parents, one that integrates the mutual responsibility of the traditional family with the freedoms of the contemporary family...Let's hope that Elkind is right.
Elkind...is as much a child advocate as an intellectual guru, and his dissection of what's gone wrong for children in America today is written with passion and clarity.
A thoughtful effort, one of the most thoughtful I have come across, to...make sense of the overpowering changes that have taken place within a generation...A powerful new analysis of how family life in general has changed over the law thirty years, altering not just the experience of childhood but that of adulthood as well...Building on a complete substructure of work in social history, psychology, and social research, Elkind develops a systematic argument for how we got from then to now, from the nuclear family of the modern period to the fragmented family of the postmodern.
This book has many strengths, the first being that it is a well-documented study of family life. The author consistently builds on his past work and cites outstanding scholars as he traces the history of family life...This book is a valuable contribution to the vast body of literature that focuses on families. It provides a clear picture of why family life has changed...[and] aids in clarifying the strengths and weaknesses of idealized family life.
Elkind's new book sums up the changes we are all witnessing and their cost to children. A very good, worthwhile book written by someone from the `inside.'
Elkind's book should be read for its contribution to understanding recent changes in the American family, and for its important, yet debatable, application of the concept of postmodernism to the family.
- 272 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Press
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