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Families, Social Change, and Individual Lives


Elder, Glen H., Jr. (2001). Families, Social Change, and Individual Lives. Marriage & Family Review, 31(1-2), 177-192.


The 20th Century is marked by one large-scale event after another and their human consequences. As a child of World War II, these consequences have long intrigued me. They also directed my attention to the fmaily. Whether expressed in terms of long-run trends or an economic depression and world war, social change has profound implications for people through its impact on family relationships, structures, and interactions. In this research problem, family life becomes a bridge between the macro-changes of society and the experiences and life changes of individuals. A second type of research problem has focused my attention on the family as a matrix of relationships, a matrix in which members' lives are embedded and regulated across the life span and generations. Individual lives are linked to other lives through family and intergenerational ties.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Marriage & Family Review


Elder, Glen H., Jr.