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The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family 8/31/09 Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674034907
ISBN-10: 0674034902
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Editorial Reviews

Review

An original and provocative thesis with impressive evidence in support of it. (Andrew Cherlin, The Johns Hopkins University)

A serious and thought-provoking take on the dramatic transformations taking place in early adulthood―and their far-reaching implications for the future of sexuality, race, and family life in America. (Steven Mintz, Stanford University)

A significant contribution to the literature on interracial relationships, same-sex relationships, and family dynamics. Perhaps most importantly, this work provides compelling statistical evidence to support what for too long have been anecdotal arguments. (Renee Romano, Wesleyan University)

Michael Rosenfeld's The Age of Independence is perhaps the most intellectually provocative study of family change in the United States to be published in the past decade. Weaving together strands of literature from social history, demography, and cultural movements, it proposes an explanation of how and why Americans shifted their marriage practices to embrace greater tolerance for "alternative unions," including cohabitation and interracial and same-sex partnerships...The Age of Independence, slim in pages but not in content, is engaging reading and should be especially attractive to those of us who are always on the lookout for worthy books for graduate seminars on the family...Rosenfeld's book provides a rich lode of ideas for empirical examination. Whether he is right or wrong in all of the particulars, he has written a valuable book. (Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. Population and Development Review 2007-12-01)

The book offers an original argument about the sources of family change, and about the past and future of the American family. (Family Forum 2007-09-01)

Rosenfeld's book is meticulously researched, carefully argued, and beautifully written, and it deserves a place on the "must-read" list of social demographers as well as other social scientists working in the areas of family, race and sexuality...This book has so much going for it that I believe it is destined to rank as a classic in the fields of family demography and sociology of the family. (Kathleen E. Hull International Journal of Sociology of the Family 2008-05-01)

About the Author

Michael J. Rosenfeld is Associate Professor of Sociology at Stanford University.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 8/31/09 edition (September 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674034902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674034907
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By D. J. Frank on March 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This work addresses fundamental changes along a core dimension of social life, documenting and theorizing the rise of nontraditional - i.e., interracial and same-sex - unions in the U.S. in the post-1960s era. In engaging and readable prose, the author presents data (mostly from the U.S. Census) showing striking expansions in the prevalence of nontraditional unions, which he postulates arise concomitant with a new "independent life stage," during which time young people live apart from their families and forge unions outside community control. The empirical and theoretical contributions of the book are both substantial.

To my knowledge, no other scholarly work treats the expansions of interracial and same-sex unions as inter-related indicators of a shifting American life course. While there are normative/psychological treatments and social-movement accounts of the central phenomena, the demographic perspective taken here is entirely original. The author's presentation of the trends is outstanding, and his interpretation thereof is important and original. The scholarship is uniformly superior.
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Format: Paperback
i read this book recently and was curious which direction and manner it was headed toward and after reading it, i found this book to be very modern and forward thinking in terms of its outlook on marriage and various other unions and it was a easy read,yet not a dump down read. very well thought out and compelling responses and takes.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an academic book that is also relevant and accessible to the lay community. Professor Rosenfeld writes in a confident, clear, and engaging manner that makes this book truly a pleasure to read. His study is not only fascinating but timely. I highly recommend this book!
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