“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”
December 6, 2012 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects"

U.Va. Study Identifies Four Family Cultures in America - the report, The Culture of American Families, says:(PDF)
The four family cultures distinguished in our investigation—the Faithful, the Engaged Progressives, the Detached, and the American Dreamers—are not merely reflections of collective psychology. They are defined, as we noted, by more than mere parenting styles. As cultures, they are constituted by a complex configuration of moral beliefs, values, and dispositions and are largely independent of basic demographic factors, such as race, ethnicity, and social class
posted by the man of twists and turns (7 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Letters From Millennial Voters
Like many millennials, my parents divorced. I didn't have the "Leave it to Beaver" childhood, and more importantly, never aspired towards it. The sitcoms I watched growing up, from "Full House" to "Family Matters", showed how people made connections based on a willingness to live with and work with each other by choice.
posted by kliuless at 8:24 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fascinating. This reminds me strongly of Naomi Cahn's & June Carbone's Red Families v Blue Families. To vastly oversimplify: Red families believe that families make adults and Blue families believe that adults make families. The first two groups in this study map well onto those categories. American Dreamers seem like an interesting category comprised mostly of immigrants and African-Americans that don't fit into the first two groups. And Detached seems like a nice way to describe absentee parents.
posted by allen.spaulding at 9:28 AM on December 6, 2012

this one?
Red Families vs. Blue Families
The "culture wars," as they play out in high profile Supreme Court decisions and legislative fights over abortion and same-sex marriage, are first and foremost about family values. Central to these differences - and the focus of the article - is the fact that different families in different parts of the country are leading different lives. The one clear, organizing principle that distinguishes the two systems: age of family formation. The defining characteristic of what we term the "new middle class morality" is delay in family formation until the late twenties or early thirties. This new morality, which correlates more closely to blue state demographic patterns, affects understandings about premarital sexuality, use of contraception and abortion, the connection between marriage and childrearing, gender relationships, and the incidence of divorce (those who marry at younger ages are less likely to stay together).
An interview with Cahn and Carbone
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I don't know, these read like a collection of class-based stereotypes to me.
posted by Jess the Mess at 11:19 AM on December 6, 2012

They come off as marketing demographics to me.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:32 PM on December 6, 2012

Ideology, Motivated Reasoning, and Cognitive Reflection: An Experimental Study (via)
Social psychologists have identified various plausible sources of ideological polarization over climate change, gun violence, national security, and like societal risks. This paper describes a study of three of them: the predominance of heuristic-driven information processing by members of the public; ideologically motivated cognition; and personality-trait correlates of political conservativism. The results of the study suggest reason to doubt two common surmises about how these dynamics interact. First, the study presents both observational and experimental data inconsistent with the hypothesis that political conservatism is distinctively associated with closed-mindedness: conservatives did no better or worse than liberals on an objective measure of cognitive reflection; and more importantly, both demonstrated the same unconscious tendency to fit assessments of empirical evidence to their ideological predispositions. Second, the study suggests that this form of bias is not a consequence of overreliance on heuristic or intuitive forms of reasoning; on the contrary, subjects who scored highest in cognitive reflection were the most likely to display ideologically motivated cognition. These findings corroborated the hypotheses of a third theory, which identifies motivated cognition as a form of information processing that rationally promotes individuals' interests in forming and maintaining beliefs that signify their loyalty to important affinity groups. The paper discusses the normative significance of these findings, including the need to develop science communication strategies that shield policy-relevant facts from the influences that turn them into divisive symbols of identity.
also btw...
posted by kliuless at 9:11 AM on December 20, 2012

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