The family remains the principal socializing agency, although the school and the peer groups unquestionably fill important socializing functions. Other .social agencies are occasionally called in for guidance. The major change has been in our attention to the socialization' function. An earlier generation knew little about "personality development"; today nearly every literate parent knows about Dr; Speck [1945, 1957,- 1974, 1977.] We know. something today of the role of emotional development in school progress, career suecess, physical well-being, and practically all other aspects of the good life. Our greatgrandparents worried about smallpox and cholera; we worry about sibling jealousies and peer-group a(jjustment

 How has the quiet revolution affected the socialization' function? Does the child suffer when mother takes a job? There have .been several dozen studies of this 'questien lie viewed by Stoltz, 196\); Herzog, 1960; Nye and Hoffman, 1963; School-er, 1971J.-The earlier studies failed to' control for such variables as social class or family composition, As a result, the working-mother sample had a higher proportionef poor, uneducated slum dwellers, widows, and divorcees than. the nonworking-mother sample. Such pciorly controlled studies seemed to show that children suffered when mother worked" Leiter. studies compared children of working 'mothers with children of o~streetwise comparably/~ nonworking mothers. Although not entirely con elusive', these studies de not show any general tendency for. children+to suffer when the mother is employed,"Allotting the evidence is somewhat mixed;' it.appears .that whetting,er the mother works is not very important, while the kind of mother she is and the 'kind of home she and the father provide are the more _ important variables [Hoffman, 1.963 J. The' question appears to' have been settled, for it has attracted very little research interest in  recent years. At the very time that the socialization function is growing more important, the changing structure of the family-increasing divorce illegitimacy, and single-parent and dual career families would appear to make it more difficult for the family to' perform its socialization function. Time will tell whether this fear is well-founded.

Posted on September 3, 2014 in The Family

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