The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages by Jessi StreibThe Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages by Jessi Streib

The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages

byJessi Streib

Paperback | February 17, 2015

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In an era in which class divisions are becoming starker than ever, some individuals are choosing to marry across class.The Power of the Past traces the lives of a subset of these individuals - highly-educated adults who married a partner raised in a class different from their own, primarilybetween those from blue- and white-color backgrounds. Drawing upon detailed interviews with spouses who revealed the inner workings of their marriages, Jessi Streib shows that crossing class lines is not easy, and that even though these couples shared bank accounts, mortgages, children, and friends,each spouse was still shaped by the class of their past, and consequently, so was their marriage.Streib reveals what was rarely apparent to the husbands and wives she interviewed. The class of their past did not only matter in determining the amount of money they had as children or what job their parents went off to each morning; It also mattered in more subtle ways, by systematically shapingtheir ideas of how to go about their daily lives. Upwardly mobile spouses who grew up in blue-collar families learned to take a laissez-faire approach to the world around them: they preferred to go with the flow, make the most of the moment, and avoid self-imposed constraints. Their spouses, whogrew up in professional white-collar families, however, wanted to manage the world around them: they organized, planned, monitored, and oversaw. Living with a spouse who was born into a different class means navigating these differences - differences that appeared across nearly every aspect of theirlives, from how they manage their finances, to how they manage their time - both at home and on vacation - to ideas about how their children should be raised.The Power of the Past illustrates that when individuals are raised in different classes, merged lives do not lead to merged ideas about how to lead those lives. Individuals can come together across class lines, but their enduring class characteristics cannot be left behind.
Jessi Streib is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Duke University.
Title:The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class MarriagesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.98 inPublished:February 17, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199364435

ISBN - 13:9780199364435

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsPart I: Introduction1. Class and MarriagePart II: Entering into and Thinking about Different-Origin Marriages2. Understandings of Class3. Accounts of Crossing the Class DividePart III: Class and the Domains of Married Life4. Money5. Work and Play6. Housework and Time7. Parenting8. Feeling Rules9. ConclusionAppendix A: Data and MethodsAppendix B: Respondents' Demographic Characteristics and Meeting PlacesAppendix C: Interview QuestionnaireNotesReferencesIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Jessi Streib presents an intelligent and creative analysis about the enduring way in which family-of-origin social class plays an irrepressible role in our adult lives. An imaginative and thought-provoking work." --Michael Rosenfeld, Stanford University