Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 1, Page 12
Fall 1992
Following the family for generations

      Families are under intense scrutiny today by politicians, the pulpit,
the press and Tamara K. Hareven, Unidel Professor of Individual and Family
      An internationally acclaimed pioneer in the field of American family
history, Hareven is writing a new book, Generations in Historical Time:
Family, Life Course and Aging in American Society.
      She previously studied two generations of families in Manchester,
N.H., the site of the largest textile mill in the country at the beginning
of the century, Amoskeag Mills. Two books emerged from that research,
Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory City (1978) and Family Time
and Industrial Time (1982).
      These earlier books focused on immigrant workers coming to Amoskeag
and their family relationships. Through public records, company records,
diaries, letters, interviews with surviving workers and their children,
Hareven researched the interactions of individuals and families with the
process of industrialization. Kinship ties were crucial to the immigrants'
adaptation to industrial life, she concludes.
      In her new book, Hareven examines major changes in the family and how
historical events and life experiences combine to influence the ways that
children treat their parents in old age.
      She has divided the children of the original immigrants into two
groups--those who came of age during the Depression and those who matured
during World War II. The older group conformed more closely to their
parents' ethnic cultures, including familial values, while the younger
group tended to exhibit American individualistic, middle-class values, she
      Although the project is based on one community, it links local
patterns to broad historical trends and their impact on families and
individuals, Hareven says.
      A fellowship from the University's Center for Advanced Studies will
allow Hareven to work on her book during the upcoming academic year.
                                   --Sue Swyers Moncure