Nostalgia for the imagined warm family gatherings of yesteryear has colored our understanding of family celebrations. Elizabeth Pleck examines family traditions over two centuries and finds a complicated process of change in the way Americans have celebrated holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, and Passover as well as the life cycle rituals of birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. By the early nineteenth century carnivalesque celebrations outside the home were becoming sentimental occasions that used consumer culture and displays of status and wealth to celebrate the idea of home and family.
The United States of America is arguably more family-centered than any other Western nation. If polling data can be trusted, the vast majority of Americans--a higher percentage than in any other nation--would rather build society around the family and the church than around the individual. In fact, family and religiously grounded community--not individualism, not capitalism, and not a commitment to polyglot cultural pluralism--have historically provided the basis of America's dominant self-understanding. The American Way, Allan Carlson's episodic history of the last century, shows how the nation's identity has been shaped by carefully constructed images of the American family and the American home.
Many Americans are seriously questioning the future of the traditional family. Yet as Mintz and Kellogg show, the American family has undergone a series of transformations from its role as the center of colonial society to today's private independent unit.
Current debates about the future of the family are often based on serious misconceptions about its past. Arguing that there is no biologically mandated or universally functional family form, Stephanie Coontz traces the complexity and variety of family arrangements in American history, from Native American kin groups to the emergence of the dominant middle-class family ideal in the 1890s.
It includes articles specific to countries and to religious traditions, examining the history of family life within these cultures and discussing how families have been affected by political and social change.
This three-volume set presents the social and cultural history of childhood from antiquity to the present. "Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood in History and Society examines this history through articles on education, parenting, child labor, economics, images of childhood, children's literature, play, toys and games, health, physiology, law, the criminal justice system and social welfare. Comparative articles include information about childhood in cultures throughout the world.
This third edition of Gale Encyclopedia Of Multicultural America updates the essays in the second edition on specific minority and ethnic groups in the U.S., with an emphasis on culture (religions, holidays, customs, language) in addition to information on historical background and settlement patterns. The Encyclopedia also includes ethnoreligious groups such as Jews, Chaldeans and Amish. Each essay has a listing of organizations and research centers, names addresses and contact information for periodicals, radio and television stations, and a list of suggestions for further reading. Includes 23 new ethnic groups and 152 revised ethnic entries. Approximately one-third of the essays will include a recipe for a traditional dish associated with that ethnic group.