New Deal for the Family

Archive Report

Juggling Motherhood and Jobs

Since the early 1970s, the abstraction that is “the family” has been beset by angry extremists. First, radical feminists reviled it as an instrument of male oppression. Then, in reaction, radicals on the political right carried it into battle in crusades against abortion and other real or perceived evils. So great was the ideological tumult that many people wondered if the venerable institution of the family were not doomed to imminent extinction, a fear that enhanced the strength of “pro-family” activists.

Yet all the while, the actual American family—all the multitudes of particular families existing and coming into existence—was doing what it has always done under the pressure of social and economic change: evolving, adapting, surviving. The result is that today's family ...

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