Cover: The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family, from Harvard University PressCover: The Age of Independence in PAPERBACK

The Age of Independence

Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674034907

Publication Date: 09/30/2009


280 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

12 line illustrations; 25 tables


The book offers an original argument about the sources of family change, and about the past and future of the American family.Family Forum

Rosenfeld’s book is meticulously researched, carefully argued, and beautifully written, and it deserves a place on the ‘must-read’ list of social demographers as well as other social scientists working in the areas of family, race and sexuality… This book has so much going for it that I believe it is destined to rank as a classic in the fields of family demography and sociology of the family.—Kathleen E. Hull, International Journal of Sociology of the Family

Michael Rosenfeld’s The Age of Independence is perhaps the most intellectually provocative study of family change in the United States to be published in the past decade. Weaving together strands of literature from social history, demography, and cultural movements, it proposes an explanation of how and why Americans shifted their marriage practices to embrace greater tolerance for ‘alternative unions,’ including cohabitation and interracial and same-sex partnerships… The Age of Independence, slim in pages but not in content, is engaging reading and should be especially attractive to those of us who are always on the lookout for worthy books for graduate seminars on the family… Rosenfeld’s book provides a rich lode of ideas for empirical examination. Whether he is right or wrong in all of the particulars, he has written a valuable book.—Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., Population and Development Review

An original and provocative thesis with impressive evidence in support of it.—Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University

A serious and thought-provoking take on the dramatic transformations taking place in early adulthood—and their far-reaching implications for the future of sexuality, race, and family life in America.—Steven Mintz, Stanford University

A significant contribution to the literature on interracial relationships, same-sex relationships, and family dynamics. Perhaps most importantly, this work provides compelling statistical evidence to support what for too long have been anecdotal arguments.—Renee Romano, Wesleyan University

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