This book addresses the complexity of family change. It draws on evidence from two linked studies, one carried out in the 1960s and the other in the early years of the 21st century, to analyse the specific ways in which family lives have changed and how they have been affected by the major structural and cultural changes of the second half of the twentieth century.
The book shows that, while there has undeniably been change, there is a surprising degree of continuity in family practices. It casts doubt on claims that families have been subject to a process of dramatic change and provides an alternative account which is based on careful analysis of empirical data.
The book presents a unique opportunity to chart the nature of social change in a particular locality over the last 50 years; includes discussions of social and cultural variations in family life, focusing on younger as well as older generations; explores not only what happens within family-households but also what happens within networks of kin across different households and shows the way changing patterns of employment affect kinship networks and how geographical mobility co-exists with the maintenance of strong kinship ties.
The findings will be of interest to students of sociology, social anthropology, social policy, women's studies, gender studies and human geography at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
"This fascinating contemporary revisitation of a classic study provides a rigorous corrective to glib assertions about social change in families and communities. The authors skillfully blend theoretical arguments and empirical evidence in an accessible and thought-provoking assessment of the nature of change and continuity." Rosalind Edwards, Professor in Social Policy, London South Bank University
Nickie Charles is Professor and Director of the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender in the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick.
Charlotte Aull Davies is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University College of Swansea.
Chris Harris is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University College of Swansea. He is co-author of "The Family and Social Change" (RKP 1965).
Understanding families and social change; Changing societies; Changing families; Families and cultural identity; Families in and out of work; Caring families; Dispersed kin; Families, friends and communities; What is the future for the family?