Society and Family Strategy
Erie County, New York 1850-1920
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Using one of the largest quantitative data bases ever compiled on a single representative community, Stern explains and substantiates the reasons for the decline of the fertility rate during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He integrates demographic and social history to determine the implications of this aspect of the modernization of America. Society and Family Strategy describes the impact of capitalism, and changing class and ethnic structure on family economy, life cycle, and ideology. The author evaluates recent studies by social historians on the family, social class, and ethnicity in light of the Erie County experience, examines theories of social and cultural change, and proposes a non-evolutionary model of their relationship.
Mark J. Stern is Associate Professor of Social Welfare and History at the University of Pennsylvania.
"This is an authoritative study, provocative and controversial in its methodology and theoretical argumentation, and certain to become a classic in its field. " — William R. Taylor, State University of New York at Stony Brook
"Stern's approach and his argument make Society and Family Strategy essential reading in one of the liveliest fields of social history—the study of class formation. "— Clyde Griffen, Vassar College