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A world of their own making : myth, ritual, and the quest for family values

Author: John R Gillis
Publisher: New York : Basic books, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Our whole society may be obsessed with "family values," but, as historian John Gillis points out in this entertaining and eye-opening narrative, most of our images of "home sweet home" are of very recent vintage. In fact, our most cherished family rituals (Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, white weddings, reunions, Father's Day, and Mother's Day) didn't even exist until the Victorian era. A World  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Folklore
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Gillis, John R.
World of their own making.
New York : Basic books, ©1996
(OCoLC)604314415
Online version:
Gillis, John R.
World of their own making.
New York : Basic books, ©1996
(OCoLC)608945086
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John R Gillis
ISBN: 0465054145 9780465054145
OCLC Number: 34193238
Description: xix, 310 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: pt. I. Different Times, Different Places: Meanings of Family and Home Before the Modern Age. 1. Myths of Family Past. 2. At Home with Families of Strangers. 3. Life and Death in a Small Parenthesis --
pt. II. Enchanting Families: The Victorian Origins of Modern Family Cultures. 4. A World of Their Own Making. 5. Making Time(s) for Family. 6. No Place Like Home --
pt. III. Mythic Figures in the Suburban Landscape. 7. The Perfect Couple. 8. Mothers Giving Birth to Motherhood. 9. Bringing Up Fathers: Strangers in Our Midst. 10. Haunting the Dead --
pt. IV. New Times and New Places: Myths and Rituals for a Global Era. 11. Conclusion: Remaking Our Worlds.
Responsibility: John R. Gillis.

Abstract:

Our whole society may be obsessed with "family values," but, as historian John Gillis points out in this entertaining and eye-opening narrative, most of our images of "home sweet home" are of very recent vintage. In fact, our most cherished family rituals (Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, white weddings, reunions, Father's Day, and Mother's Day) didn't even exist until the Victorian era. A World of Their Own Making questions our idealized notion of "The Family," a mind-set in which myth and symbol still hold sway. As the families we live with become more fragile, the symbolic families we live by become more powerful. Yet it is only by accepting the notion that our rituals, myths, and images must be open to perpetual revision that we can satisfy our human needs and changing circumstances. Our families are worlds of our own making. By using the past to throw light on the present, Gillis empowers us to enjoy and accept responsibility for our own creations.

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