Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

September 2, 2012

The waning of the nuclear family

Filed under: Culture,Extended Family,Family,Nuclear Family — Razib Khan @ 4:09 pm

‘The Waltons’ Meets ‘Modern Family’:

A Pew Research Center study, “The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household,” published long before the most recent, even higher census figures, revealed that in 2008 a record 49 million Americans, or 16.1 percent of the country’s population, lived in a family household that contained at least two adult generations or a grandparent and at least one other generation.

Those figures, according to that Pew report, represented a significant trend reversal that started right after World War II. In 1940, about a quarter of the population lived in a multigenerational home (my mother-in-law, in fact, grew up sharing a house with her aunt, uncle and cousins), while in 1980, only 12 percent did.


One of the issues that occasionally crops up on this weblog is that some readers are surprised that that I would term myself conservative, since that position seems to only imply that one wishes to slow down the inexorable march toward the future. This is a particular view of progressive history, where the future always builds upon and extends the past. Another view is cyclical, or even declinist, and over the course of human history this has been a more common tendency. Instead ...

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