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Sociological Forum

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 746–779 | Cite as

Social change and the family: Comparative perspectives from the west, China, and South Asia

  • Arland Thornton
  • Thomas E. Fricke
Articles

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of social and economic change on family structure and relationships: How do such economic and social transformations as industrialization, urbanization, demographic change, the expansion of education, and the long-term growth of income influence the family? We take a comparative and historical approach, reviewing the experiences of three major sociocultural regions: the West, China, and South Asia. Many of the changes that have occurred in family life have been remarkably similar in the three settings—the separation of the workplace from the home, increased training of children in nonfamilial institutions, the development of living arrangements outside the family household, increased access of children to financial and other productive resources, and increased participation by children in the selection of a mate. While the similarities of family change in diverse cultural settings are striking, specific aspects of change have varied across settings because of significant pre-existing differences in family structure, residential patterns of marriage, autonomy of children, and the role of marriage within kinship systems.

Keywords

Social Change Family Structure Social Issue Family Life Specific Aspect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© the Eastern Sociological Society 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arland Thornton
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Fricke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganUSA

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