PEOPLE IN FAMILIES by George Simpson


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Based fundamentally on Freudian psychoanalytic theory, People in Families is a detailed, heavily annotated, comprehensive sociological examination of marriage, the family and related aspects of family life in the U.S. Relying to a great extent on statistical information such as the Kinsey Reports Dr. Simpson discusses the contemporary American family as a product of the following events and influences: an urban industrial economy, universal education, secularization of society, the social and economic emancipation of women, the opportunity for status change, widespread premarital sexuality, a considerable divorce rate, and emphasis on parental personality in child rearing. He deplores the sociological tendency (now waning) to view American marriage from a perspective which is white, Protestant and middle class, and he briefly discusses those family types which do not fall into this idealized and irrelevant category along with what he calls some identifiable ""cultural configurations"" -- general designs or goals for most American families. Finally, however, he settles for just one ""goal"" -- broad enough to be not really a goal at all: ""the mental health and emotional stability of the family's members"". He deals in detail with the specific processes, practices and developments of dating, courtship, the psychological elements in human mating, marital accommodations and discords, contraception, childhood and adolescence, divorce, the problem of the aged and deviant behavior. Those groups which object to artificial birth control, artificial insemination and divorce will not find here support or encouragement for their views nor will those who have more reservations about Freudian psychology than Dr. Simpson. George Simpson is a professor in the department of Sociology-Anthropology at Brooklyn College.

Publisher: Crowell