America at Century's End

Alan Wolfe, Editor University of California Press $48 (579p) ISBN 978-0-520-07476-7
In an era of rising homelessness, AIDS, latchkey children, cocaine and two-career families, this collection of 22 essays by sociologists who do fieldwork ``takes stock of what has been happening in this country since the days when people thought they knew what was normal.'' Judith Stacey finds that the ``recombinant'' family, with nontraditional living arrangements, is equally common among the working and middle classes. Katherine Newman explores the psychic pain of the downwardly mobile. Gary Fine and Jay Mechling make a disturbing case that children have been marginalized, increasingly isolated from contact with adults. Fred Block contends that the success of America's chief rivals, Japan and Germany, suggests the outlines of a U.S. program of national revival. In his concluding essay, editor Wolfe, a dean of Manhattan's New School for Social Research, argues that Americans increasingly have to define for themselves the rules by which they live. This is a massive, lively, often surprising portrait of America in the throes of change. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-0-520-07477-4
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