In the past, a woman would routinely be asked what her husband did for a living. Increasingly, a man is likely to be asked what his wife does for a living. It's a small switch, but it signifies a revolution in gender roles and family life. Leonard Beeghley uses historical and international data to explain the dramatic changes in the way women and men organize their lives together.Beeghley looks at four issues--premarital sex, abortion, divorce, and employment and income--and discusses how gender roles and family life affect and are affected by changes in each. The key to his analysis is the distinction between individual and structural levels of explanation. At the individual level Beeghley shows how personal characteristics and experiences influence individuals' decisions. At the structural level he shows how changes in social organization--such as industrialization, urbanization, increasing participation of women in the labor force, decreasing fertility rate, and the rise of feminism--have altered the range of available choices.
Speculating about the future, Beeghley discusses the way fundamental structural changes in American society are transforming gender relations and family life.
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group