THE FUTURE OF THE FAMILY by Louise Kapp -- Ed. Howe


Email this review


There they are in the current television version. . . Father the Breadwinner, tall and lean and in a hurry. . . Mother the Homemaker, sweet and self-effacing. . . athletic little Billy (""'Bye Daddy""), adorable little Susie (""'Bye Daddy"") and our optional third child (""'Bye"")."" But, continues editor Howe in her introduction, ""in the face of all the propaganda, few Americans actually live this way."" The growing numbers of working mothers, single-parent homes, communes, rootless old people and unemployed fathers, as well as new concepts in sex-role priorities, throw the familiar stereotype out of whack. Yet most men and women still prefer to structure their lives family-style. This collection of articles, mainly by professionals in relevant fields, articulates the problems and suggests a variety of approaches to the dilemma of the family in transition. For instance, there's a selection from Anne Roiphe's Up the Sandbox with its baby-bed-and-bored ""squaw"" regimen which leads into some solid-to-shrill feminist statements. The section dealing with fatherhood offers more searching commentary, particularly in the ""confessions"" of S. M. Miller in which he argues that compulsive parenthood and the ""success"" route inhibit true marital equality. Myron Brenton echoes this view, urging husbands to accept the demise of traditional male dominance, but to avoid ""psychic castration"" by striving to become ""more fully human, responsive and functioning."" There are also balanced studies of child rearing in varied environments and America's child care programs -- or lack of them. Other articles discuss economic, political and social phenomena related to the family unit at present; and throughout there are personal journals from mates/parents which confide all those good and bad vibes. A collection of mixed quality but generally stimulating.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Simon & Schuster