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In Memoriam
Tamara Hareven
Barbara H. Settles, professor of individual and family studies, delivered the following memorial tribute to Dr. Tamara K. Hareven at the General Faculty meeting April 7, 2003.

Tamara Hareven brought to the field of individual and family studies several important concepts and popularized them not only in the United States, but also internationally. She could tell a good story in her speeches and reach the educated person or student regardless of their background or training. She wrote clearly and maintained some consistent themes across most of her writings. Dr. Hareven’s life was a 20th-century story. She and her family had escaped from Eastern Europe to Israel and she completed her high school education, served in the armed forces and earned her B.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Hareven came to America to study first at University of Cincinnati and then at Ohio State University. Her research documented the complexity of work, family and community, especially for women. She reached into the 19th century and then traced its modern impact through her in-depth interviews and her analysis of the historic patterns of women’s work to support their families in industrial New England. Our own Marvin Sussman, Unidel Professor Emeritus of Human Behavior, was an early supporter and encouraged her in the founding of the Journal of Family History. It was my privilege as Program Chair of the 1979 National Conference of the National Council on Family Relations to invite her to present a plenary session. During this same period, she found like colleagues, including Glen Elder, Peter Uhlenberg and Dennis Hogan, who were able to put her into closer working relationships with sociologists and social psychologists that were interested in the demographic aspects of life course analysis.

In the ’80s, she sought a series of opportunities to expand her research and launched research to do comparative work with silk weavers in Japan; she visited Japan to develop comparative research on the life course with the U.S.A. Her final book on this research was submitted to the publisher just before her death last fall.

Dr. Hareven was invited to University of Delaware by the Department of Individual and Family Studies initial doctoral class for a student-led conference. When Sussman retired, a nationwide search was launched and Dr. Hareven was selected for the Unidel professorship in 1988. During the 15 years she was at the University of Delaware, she continued her focus on the textile workers in three regions of the world to examine issues of life course, technology and gender. She organized a conference on aging and intergenerational relationships and a book that brought the life course perspective and the refutation of myths about generational relationships together. Her presidency of Social Science History Association was vital to her in seeing her work bridge the disciplines. She founded another significant journal, The History of the Family: An International Quarterly, in 1995 and was co-editor with Andrejs Plakans until her death.

During the decade of the ’90s, Tamara was busy traveling, presenting papers and extending her work to Europe and Asia. She was a pioneer in using qualitative data and developing a computer-based archive that one could return to as new insights were developed and could document qualitative materials for accurate reporting in publications. To some extent, handling her own parents’ decline and terminal illnesses was reflected in a greater sensitivity to the conflicts in intergenerational dependency and the heavy burden even well-resourced adults have in caring for elders. One of the ironies of her life is that it was cut short before she herself could experience the older years she so carefully studied and saw as the modern shift in demography. She enjoyed both the outdoor beauty especially of beaches and mountains and the graphic arts. She often chose to combine her work with the opportunity to enjoy esthetic experiences and was probably as thrilled by the way her books were printed and illustrated as she was by their content. While quite alone in her mode of working she was in constant contact with her support network and found the telephone as the lifeline to her upkeep. Anywhere that I have gone in my own international work in many locations, the first question I am asked is “How is Dr. Hareven?” I am saddened to think how my answers are now changed as the word of her loss goes round the world. While she does not leave a personal family legacy of her own, she leaves her mark on how all of us in family studies view families, friends and timing of the life course.

Oct. 22, 2002--Tamara Hareven, Unidel Professor of Family Studies and History, with a joint appointment in urban affairs and public policy, died Friday, Oct. 18, 2002. A social historian, she was one of the foremost leaders in the field of family history.

In the 1970s, Dr. Hareven began her studies of the families who had worked in the Amoskeag Mills in Manchester, N.H., resulting in “Amoskeag: Life and Work in an American Factory City” (1978), followed by “Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship Between the Family and Work in a New England Industrial Community” (1982).

Focusing on the family’s relationship to the process of industrialization, she interviewed generations of families about their work and family lives and about how events–such as the closing of the mills and World War II–and how personal responsibilities–such as caring for aged parents–affected their lives.

She then began comparative studies with other cultures, including silk weavers in Kyoto, Japan, in Lyon, France and a textile-producing region in Austria where the centuries-old skills were handed down from one generation to the next.

Another area of research she explored was divorce in China, which she researched while lecturing there as a National Academy of Sciences Distinguished Visiting Professor.

Dr. Hareven was an international lecturer, visiting professor and scholar in many countries. She was a senior Fulbright Fellow in India and Japan, and she founded The Journal of Family History in 1975, serving as editor for 20 years. In 1995, she founded The History of the Family: An International Quarterly, of which she was coeditor.

Her honors included the Radcliffe Graduate Society Medal and an honorary doctorate from Linkoping University in Sweden in 1998.

In 2000, a series of articles and chapters, which she had written over the course of her career, were collected in a book entitled Families, History and Social Change.

A graduate of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, she earned her master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and her doctorate from Ohio State University.

A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.