Black Working Wives Pioneers of the American Family Revolution

ISBN-10: 0520236823
ISBN-13: 9780520236820
Edition: N/A
Authors: Bart Landry
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Description: Long before the 1970s and the feminist revolution that shattered traditional notions of the family, black women in America had already accomplished their own revolution. Bart Landry's groundbreaking study adds immeasurably to our accepted concepts  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.95
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/1/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 274
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Long before the 1970s and the feminist revolution that shattered traditional notions of the family, black women in America had already accomplished their own revolution. Bart Landry's groundbreaking study adds immeasurably to our accepted concepts of "traditional" and "new" families: Landry argues that black middle-class women in two-parent families were practicing an egalitarian lifestyle that was envisioned by few of their white counterparts until many decades later. The primary transformation of the American family, Landry says, took place when nineteenth-century industrialization brought about the separation of home and workplace. Only then did the family we call traditional, in which the husband goes out to work while the wife stays at home, become the centerpiece of white middle-class ideology. Black women, excluded from this model of respectability, embraced a threefold commitment to family, community, and career. They embodied the notion that employment outside the home was the route to more equality in the home, and that work was worth pursuing for reasons other than economic survival. With a careful and convincing mix of biography, historical records, and demographic data, Landry shows how these black pioneers of the dual-career marriage created a paradigm for other women seeking to escape the cult of domesticity and thus foreshadowed the second great family transformation. If the two-parent nuclear family is to persist beyond the twentieth century, it may be because of what we can learn from these earlier women about an ideology of womanhood that combines the private and public spheres.

List of Illustrations
Preface
Introduction
The Rise and Fall of the Traditional Family
Black Families: A Challenge to the Traditional Family Paradigm
Black Women and a New Definition of Womanhood
The New Family Paradigm Takes Root and Spreads
Dual-Career Couples: Prototypes of the Modern Family
The Economic Contribution of Wives
Husbands and Housework: A Stalled Revolution?
Conclusion: The Future of Dual-Worker Families
Statistics on Family Households
Supplementary Figures
Logistic Regression Models
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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