November 4, 1992
Scholars Attempt to Debunk Stereotypes of American Family
Olympia, Washington -- Stephanie Coontz would like politicians who bandy about the phrase "family values" to know that "Leave It to Beaver" was not a documentary.
The much-ballyhooed traditional family -- self-sufficient, patriotic, and God fearing -- usually includes a working father, homemaker mother, at least two children, and a house in the suburbs. That kind of family is a figment of our nostalgic imagination, argues Ms. Coontz, a historian at Evergreen State College.