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Sastry's 10-year study of New Orleans Katrina evacuees shows demographic differences between returning and nonreturning

Stafford says less educated, smaller investors more likely to sell off stock and lock in losses during market downturn

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Deirdre Bloome wins ASA award for work on racial inequality and intergenerational transmission

Bob Willis awarded 2015 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Field of Labor Economics

David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research

Elizabeth Bruch wins Robert Merton Prize for paper in analytic sociology

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Oct 12
Joe Grengs, Policy & Planning for Social Equity in Transportation

Arland Thornton photo

The Developmental Paradigm, Reading History Sideways and Family Change

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland. 2001. "The Developmental Paradigm, Reading History Sideways and Family Change." Demography, 38(4): 449-465.

The developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and cross-cultural data have converged to exert a profound influence on social scientists and ordinary people. Through the use of these tools, social scientists of the 1700s and 1800s concluded that family patterns in northwest Europe had undergone many substantial changes before the early 1800s. These conclusions were accepted until the last several decades of the 1900s, when almost all were seriously challenged; many were declared to be myths. Further, the developmental paradigm, reading history sideways, and the conclusions of generations of social scientists created a package of ideas-developmental idealism-that subsequently became a powerful influence for family change in many parts of the world during the past two centuries. This developmental idealism has been a substantial force for changing living arrangements, marriage, divorce, gender relations, intergenerational relationships, and fertility.

DOI:10.1353/dem.2001.0039 (Full Text)

Developmental Idealism Studies web site

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