This book is a collection of essays mingled with a few demographic and survey data. The contributing scholars from a variety of disciplines share a conviction that the American family is undergoing significant change. The rise of individualism and the large numbers of women entering the labor force during the 1960s and 1970s drastically altered family values. As a consequence, the Ozzie and Harriet family of the 1950s has been replaced by an array of differing marital arrangements. This change does not imply the family is less important in the eyes of the average citizen. Americans continue to value what families can provide—love, emotional support, and nurturance—and look for these things in the new family forms.
The essays in this volume explore the evolving connectedness between three significant social institutions—the workplace, the church, and the family. They discuss how and to what degree corporate American and organized religion can no longer ignore the family if they are to survive. The workplace and the church must nurture the modern family in order to prosper themselves.
None of the essays focus on Latter-day Saints, and the Catholic and Protestant experiences discussed have only limited relevance to the LDS Church and its members. Nevertheless, if the reader is interested in understanding the emerging, and hopefully more friendly, linkage between these three social institutions, and the ways they affect and are affected by individual family members, workers, and church members, the volume has much to offer.