The Family and the Life Course in Historical Perspective

1st Edition - January 28, 1978

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  • Editor: Tamara K. Hareven
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483218069

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Transitions: The Family and the Life Course in Historical Perspective covers a life-course analysis in relation to history and the application of the approach to a common data set for late 19th-century American communities in Essex County, Massachusetts. The book discusses the life-course development in relation to historical change; the historical changes in age configurations along the life course; and the use of demographic scaffolding for analyzing family behavior and life-course transitions. The text also describes models of economic behavior to the historical patterns; the choices that individuals and families make in the timing of different life-course transitions; and the scheduling of life-course transitions. Marriage; children's entry into and exit from school; patterns of women's entry into the labor force; and the affect on household structure of transitions into old age are also considered. Historians, sociologists, and demographers will find the book invaluable.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors




    Introduction: The Historical Study of the Life Course

    The Family Cycle

    The Historical Study of the Life Course


    Agenda for Future Research


    1 Family History and the Life Course

    The Life Course as a Perspective

    The Timing and Order of Events: Cause and Consequence

    Temporal Patterns in Marriage and the Family

    Social Change in the Life Course

    The Family Cycle and Life Course



    2 Changing Configurations of the Life Course

    Conceptual Framework

    Data Available from Census and Vital Statistics Reports

    Major Demographic Trends in the United States Since 1870

    Successive Cohorts during Childhood

    Life-Course Patterns during Adult Years

    Cohorts as They Enter Old Age



    3 The Setting: The Essex County Context

    4 Marriage and Family Formation

    The Essex Sample


    5 From Fireside to Factory: School Entry and School Leaving in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts


    Schooling and Child Labor in Essex County, 1860-1880

    Multiple Classification Analysis of School Attendance in 1860 and 1880


    Appendix: The Uses of Multiple Classification Analysis


    6 Women's Work and the Life Course in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1880






    7 Family Transitions into Old Age

    Data and Methods

    General Pattern

    Changing Economic Conditions


    8 Transitions: Patterns of Timing

    Factors Affecting Transitions

    The Pace and Sequence of Transitions

    The Impact of Ethnicity and Class

    Family Economy and the Timing of Transitions

    Communities and Local Markets

    Historical Implications


    9 Economic Perspectives on the Life Course

    Economic Variables and the Life Course

    Budget Constraints

    Alternative Responses to Economic Change

    Concluding Remarks


    10 Comparative Notes on the Life Course


Product details

  • No. of pages: 336
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1978
  • Published: January 28, 1978
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483218069

About the Editor

Tamara K. Hareven

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