The family institution is undergoing a radical transformation. Themodern meanings of kinship, marriage, parenthood, gender, and sexualityare now being questioned, and debates on same-sex marriages andparenthood or on divorce and blended families are reflective of thesechallenges.
The (Un)Making of the Modern Family is neither anindictment of the new family nor a rallying cry. It is a classicalexercise of family sociology that draws upon a range of disciplines --history, anthropology, psychology, and demography -- to provide aninterpretive model for understanding contemporary changes in thefamily. It explores traditional family forms in order to identifychanges that gave birth to the ideal type of the modern family, and itdiscusses how the modern family's constituent elements (thefamily as institution, conjugal and parent-child relationships, andgender and sexuality) relate to modernity's central feature --the concept of the individual. By reconstructing an archetype of themodern family, this book explains why individuals have experienced itsdeconstruction as a profound identity crisis. It will appeal to anyoneconcerned with the future of the (post)modern family and society.
Published originally by Les Presses de l'Universite Laval asLa fin de la famille moderne, this book was awarded the2000-1 Prix Jean-Charles Falardeau for the best book published inFrench in Canada in the field of social sciences.
Daniel Dagenais teaches in the Department of Sociologyand Anthropology at Concordia University. JaneBrierley is a Montreal literary translator, writer, and editorwho has won two Governor General's Awards for translation, mostrecently in 2003 for Marcel Trudel's Memoirs of a LessTravelled Road: A Historian's Life.
Acknowledgments Introduction 1 The Ideal Type of the Modern Family 2 Family Ties: The Domain of Kinship 3 The Question of Private and Public Spheres 4 The Parental Role 5 Gender, Gender Differences, and Sexuality 6 The Conjugal Relationship 7 The French-Canadian Family 8 Contemporary Changes in the Family: What Do They Mean? Epilogue Afterword Notes References Index