To Hold: Marriage, The Baby Boom, And Social Change By Jessica Weiss

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Another book addressing the topic of the transformation of gender roles in post-War America is To Have and To Hold: Marriage, the Baby Boom, and Social Change by Jessica Weiss. In the book, Weiss argues that “our tendency to glorify the middle-class family stereotype of the 1950s obscures the fact that the decade encompasses only a single stage in the family cycle of that first generation to form families after the war—the parents of the baby boomers.” Weiss argues that the baby boomers are important but that “the parents of the baby boomers” are also important in their own right: “They, before their children, began to chip away to traditional gender roles.” That the “Parents of the baby boomers have much more in common with their children than we assume… Postwar parents did more than merely witness the social revolution of the sixties.…show more content…
This a completely different view of the one proposed by May in Homeward Bound. Weiss argues that “bridal breadwinning…contributed to the breakdown in sex role differences… It was also conducive to egalitarian marital partnership.” After the war, most women became the sole providers while their husbands went to school on the GI Bill. Moreover, some women continued to work “even after the birth of their first child.” Some of the results of becoming the sole providers while their husband went to school, Weiss argues, wives “solidified the legitimization of a period of employment for white middle-class women after marriage and before childrearing.” Not only did this improved their family’s standard of living but it also “set a precedent for further breadwinning

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