Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care by Karen V. HansenNot-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care by Karen V. Hansen

Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care

byKaren V. Hansen

Paperback | November 24, 2004

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In recent years U.S. public policy has focused on strengthening the nuclear family as a primary strategy for improving the lives of America's youth. It is often assumed that this normative type of family is an independent, self-sufficient unit adequate for raising children. But half of all households in the United States with young children have two employed parents. How do working parents provide care and mobilize the help that they need?

In Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care, Karen V. Hansen investigates the lives of working parents and the informal networks they construct to help care for their children. She chronicles the conflicts, hardships, and triumphs of four families of various social classes. Each must navigate the ideology that mandates that parents, mothers in particular, rear their own children, in the face of an economic reality that requires that parents rely on the help of others. In vivid family stories, parents detail how they and their networks of friends, paid caregivers, and extended kin collectively close the "care gap" for their school-aged children.

Hansen not only debunks the myth that families in the United States are independent, isolated, and self-reliant units, she breaks new theoretical ground by asserting that informal networks of care can potentially provide unique and valuable bonds that nuclear families cannot.

KAREN V. HANSEN is an associate professor of sociology and women's studies at Brandeis University and is the co-editor of Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics.
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Title:Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of CareFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.65 inPublished:November 24, 2004Publisher:Rutgers University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0813535018

ISBN - 13:9780813535012

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"Not-So-Nuclear Families makes an important contribution to our understanding of how parents orchestrate 'care' for their children among U.S. families widely perceived as not having the same challenges and problems as everyone else."