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

By Myron A. Marty | Go to book overview

9 Changing Families

By 1967, many parents who had begun raising families in the 1950s could say that their hopes and expectations were being realized. Not that they had struck it rich, but they had managed to buy larger homes in suburban neighborhoods. The future looked promising, perhaps because of pay increases and promotions for the fathers. The mothers' willingness to find part-time jobs made a difference, too.

Family Life

As families' prosperity inched upward, they enjoyed such things as genuine summer vacations. In earlier times vacation travels may have taken them to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. Now, perhaps with borrowed camping gear loaded into low-powered, unairconditioned sedans, they traveled to such events as Expo '67 in Montreal. The innumerable technological wonders displayed at this world's fair dazzled even the most sophisticated visitors.

For the children, each year in school meant a new grade, a new teacher, and, in larger schools, new friends. Studies, music lessons, sports, church activities, friendships, playtime, visits to doctors and dentists, camping trips, other family outings--all these claimed a place in their crowded lives. With the children all in school, mothers had greater freedom to take occasional jobs, such as substitute teaching or trying their hand in retail sales. Some found full-time jobs, although they preferred seasonal ones that allowed them to be at home in the summer with the kids.

Such families no doubt regarded their way of life as normal, although they did not think too much about what normal meant. They did not strive to live up to some fantasy of an ideal family. Yet their composi

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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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