Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord

By Myron A. Marty | Go to book overview

3 Private and Public Lives

Individuals and families move freely between the private and the public spheres of life. What happens in the public sphere almost certainly affects conditions in the private sphere, and what one does in private shapes what goes on beyond it. Boundaries between the private and the public spheres of daily life are not readily visible or clearly fixed. Nevertheless, to understand changes in daily life it is useful to have a sense of the general character of both.

In their largely private lives, people establish and maintain family relationships, make a living, enjoy personal security, strive for personal growth and advancement through education, have religious beliefs and practices, appreciate the arts, participate in recreational and cultural activities, maintain their health, buy goods and services, eat and drink at home and in restaurants and bars--among other things. Here people act with considerable autonomy and independence, although they are often limited by laws and customs.

Private Lives

For many people in the 1960s, their lives were private almost to the point of isolation. Even though they were surrounded by others, the others were strangers. Geographical mobility meant that many individuals lived apart from their extended families. Suburban developments did little to foster neighborliness or community spirit. As air conditioning became more common, people stayed indoors in the summertime, reducing over-the-fence socializing. Driving to work, typically alone, rather than taking public transportation deprived people of opportuni

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Daily Life in the United States, 1960-1990: Decades of Discord
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in the Greenwood Press "Daily Life through History" Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Notes xiii
  • Introduction xv
  • Introduction xix
  • Part I - Modern Times Flourish and Fade: 1960-1966 1
  • 1 - Family Life 3
  • 2 - Changing Population Patterns 11
  • 3 - Private and Public Lives 25
  • 4 - Consumers in the Material World 35
  • 5 - The Other America 43
  • 6 - Mind and Spirit 51
  • 7 - Technology in Daily Life 57
  • 8 - Cultural Transformations 65
  • Part II - Troubled Times: 1967-1974 77
  • 9 - Changing Families 79
  • 10 - Civil Rights and Group Identities 87
  • 11 - Securities Shaken 99
  • 12 - Cultural Reflections/Cultural Influences 115
  • 13 - Material Aspects of Life 127
  • 14 - Environmental and Consumer Protection 141
  • 15 - Technology's Small Steps and Giant Leaps 149
  • 16 - Hard Knocks for Schools 159
  • 17 - Spiritual Matters 169
  • 18 - Not Ready for New Times 175
  • Part III - Times of Adjustment, 1975-1980 179
  • 19 - Family Changes Continue 181
  • 20 - The Peoples of America 187
  • 21 - Security Concerns 195
  • 22 - Television, Movies, and More 205
  • 23 - Cares of Daily Life 215
  • 24 - Arenas of Discord 225
  • 25 - Pulling Together 239
  • Part IV - Crossing the Postmodern Divide: 1981-1990 245
  • 26 - Family Variations 247
  • 27 - People at the Margins 255
  • 28 - Security Concerns Continue 265
  • 29 - Diversions 277
  • 30 - Concerns of Daily Life 291
  • 31 - Technology 303
  • 32 - More Discord 309
  • 33 - Prospects 331
  • Selected Bibliography 337
  • Index 353
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