2013 Bronfenbrenner Lecture: Frank Furstenberg, Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Fifty Years of Family Change: From Consensus to Complexity Frank Furstenberg, University of Pennsylvania
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:00 PM G10 Biotech Building
In this lecture, Professor Furstenberg will discuss how and why we went from a relatively undifferentiated family system in the middle of the last century to the present system of diverse family forms. Even conceding that the family system was always less simple than it now appears in hindsight, there is little doubt that we began to depart from the dominant model of the nuclear family household in the late sixties. He will explain how change is a result of adaptation by individuals and family members to changing economic, demographic, technological, and cultural conditions. The breakdown of the gender-based division of labor was the prime mover in his view. Additionally, he will address family complexity in the United States as largely a product of growing stratification. The family formation processes associated with low human capital produces complexity over time in family systems. Finally, he will examine complexity in a changing global context, questioning how complexity varies among economically developed nations with different historical traditions and how it might be shaped by the presence or absence of state policies aimed at providing family supports.
Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. is the Zellerbach Family Professor of Sociology and Research associate in the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. His interest in the American family began at Columbia University where he received his Ph.D. in 1967. His most recent book is Managing to Make It: Urban Families in High-Risk Neighborhoods with Thomas Cook, Jacquelynne Eccles, Glen Elder, and Arnold Sameroff (1999). His previous books and articles center on children, youth, families, and the public. His current research projects focus on the family in the context of disadvantaged urban neighborhoods, adolescent sexual behavior, cross national research on children's well-being, and urban education. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.