9781412810388

Families without Fathers: Fatherhood, Marriage and Children in American Society

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781412810388

  • ISBN10:

    1412810388

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-05-30
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Summary

The American family is changing. Divorce, single parents, and stepfamilies are redefining the ways we live together and raise our children. Many "experts" feel these seemingly inevitable changes should be celebrated; they claim that the "new" families, which often lack a strong father, are actually healthier than traditional two-parent families-or, at the very least, do children no harm. But as David Popenoe shows in Families Without Fathers this optimistic view is severely misguided. Examining evidence from social and behavioral science, history, and evolutionary biology, Popenoe shows why fathers today are deserting their families in record numbers. The disintegration of the child-centered, two parent family-especially in the inner cities, where as many as two in three children are growing up without their fathers-and the weakening commitment of fathers to their children that more and more follows divorce, are central causes of many of our worst individual and social problems. Juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, welfare dependency, and child poverty can be directly traced to fathers' lack of involvement in their children's lives. Our situation will only get worse, Popenoe warns, unless men are willing to renew their commitment to their marriages and to their children. Yet he is not just an alarmist. He suggests concrete policies, and new ways of thinking and acting that will help all fathers improve their marriages and family lives, and tells us what we as individuals and as a society can do to support and strengthen the most important thing a man can do.

Author Biography

About the Author David Popenoe is professor of sociology emeritus and co-director of the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University. He is the author or editor of numerous books and articles, and as co-chair of the Council on Families in America, he was the primary author of its pioneering 1995 report Marriage in America: A Report to the Nation.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Editionp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Fatherlessness
The Remarkable Decline of Fatherhood and Marriagep. 19
The Human Carnage of Fatherlessnessp. 52
Fathers in History
Victorian Fathers and the Rise of the Modern Nuclear Familyp. 81
The Shrinking Father and the Fall of the Nuclear Familyp. 109
Why Fathers Matter
What Do Fathers Do?p. 139
The Essential Fatherp. 164
Conclusions
Reclaiming Fatherhood and Marriagep. 191
Notesp. 229
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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