Family, Marriage, and Parenthood

By Howard Becker; Reuben Hill | Go to book overview
and goals for the functioning of his family as well as to an objective appraisal of the major role-playing that is actually going on. Hence they can be used to measure divergence between actual and intended role-playing, something which would undoubtedly be of significant aid in refining our present techniques for predicting marital success.25
CONCLUSION
We have in shorthand fashion described some of the changes that have taken place in the American family since colonial times. Note has been made of some of its many diversities and of some of the many factors at work which were bringing about these diversities. It is obvious that the family always exists in some kind of social setting, some kind of social context. Sometimes the family is so inclusive that it is almost coterminous with this context; in other instances, and particularly under the influence of urbanization, industrialization, and specialization, it becomes much less important within the scope of the larger whole. But whatever the context it always has an important functional relationship with the particular type of family structure and organization with which it coexists.We are now at the point of endeavoring to move from history, valuable for its "hunches," to science, where these hunches as hypotheses may be tested. We are mainly concerned with this process in order that our generalizations may have value in prediction and control.
SELECTED READINGS
BARNES H., BECKER H., and BECKER F., eds., Contemporary Social Theory ( New York: Appleton-Century, 1940), chap. 2.
BURGESS E. W., and LOCKE H. J., The Family: From Institution to Companionship ( New York: American Book Co., 1945).
CALHOUN ARTHUR, A Social History of the American Family ( Cleveland: Clark, 1919), 3 vols.
FRAZIER E. F., The Negro Family in the United States ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939).
GOODSELL WILLYSTINE, A History of Marriage and the Family ( rev. ed., New York : Macmillan, 1934).
HULETT J. E., JR., "Social Role and Personal Security in Mormon Polygamy," American Journal of Sociology 45 ( Jan. 1940), pp. 542-553.
-----, The Social and Social Psychological Aspects of the Mormon Polygamous Family, unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Wisconsin Library, 1939.
KOLLMORGEN WALTER M., The Old Order Amish of Lancaster County, Pa., U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Rural Life Studies No. 4, 1942.
____________________
25
No more detailed statement than is denoted in the phrasing of each type will be attempted here. The next step of course is to make as denotative as possible every referent involved in each type. This could be made more refined through the panel technique. Then would come the building of questionnaire or observational scales to use in rating families.

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