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The Changing Landscape of Work and Family in the American Middle Class: Reports from the Field

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ISBN-13: 978-0739117408
ISBN-10: 0739117408
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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this beautifully rendered collection, we peer through so many different windows of American family life. Rural North Dakota parents reverently passing on farm values, if not the farm itself, to their children. Silicon Valley hi-tech family workers share long hours and high hopes in their electronic cottage. Affluent corporate executives and their stay-at-home wives still can't control influences beyond the gates to their communities. Refugees from corporate life set up a small town pie shop hoping to find a better way to mix work and family life. The superb studies gathered here reflect the many ways families are trying to build the American Dream on an ever more eroded and shifting landscape. (Arlie Hochschild, author of The Commercialization of Intimate Life and The Time Bind)

A fresh and engaging set of ethnographic accounts – the reader is quickly immersed in a gallery of diverse and vivid portraits of everyday work and family life. I will be recommending this book to colleagues! (Kerry Daly, professor and chair, department of family relations and applied nutrition, University of Guelph in Canada)

The sheer variety of people and circumstances found in the 13 substantive chapters is striking. (Robert Drago, Professor LSER & WS, Penn State)

Useful for students....Recommended. (CHOICE, February 2009)

This edited collection contributes to the under-researched social reality that middle class families are not monolithic. As a whole this collection of ethnographic studies provides rich portraits of the changing cultural landscape of work and family life.With employment in flux and family membership no longer conventional these authors offer us a fresh look at diversity in the middle of the social class structure. A terrific read this collection will make a wonderful supplement for social sciences work/family courses... (Rosanna Hertz, Luella LaMer Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and Chair of Women's Studies at Wellesley College)

This edited collection contributes to the under-researched social reality that middle class families are not monolithic. As a whole this collection of ethnographic studies provides rich portraits of the changing cultural landscape of work and family life. With employment in flux and family membership no longer conventional these authors offer us a fresh look at diversity in the middle of the social class structure. A terrific read this collection will make a wonderful supplement for social sciences work/family courses. (Rosanna Hertz, Luella LaMer Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and Chair of Women's Studies at Wellesley College)

The case studies examined here make this book an informative resource; it could be particularly useful as a course text since many chapters include brief but good scholarly and historical backgrounds, such as histories of working mothers in African American communities and shifting attitudes toward children and parenting in the United States. (Anthropology Of Work Review)

About the Author

Lara Descartes is assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut.
Elizabeth Rudd is a research affiliate of the Center for the Ethnography of Everyday Life and research scientist at the University of Washington, Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (March 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739117408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739117408
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,654,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Janna on April 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This highly readable and informative book is a must have for anyone who has a scholarly interest in today's middle class families. The various contributors are knowledgeable and insightful and I highly recommend this book. It is well worth the money.
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