Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years

TitleGoode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCherlin, AJ
JournalPopulation and Development Review
Date Published//
ISBN Number00987921 (ISSN)
Keywordsfamily structure, historical perspective, ideology, industrialization, literature review, Transition to Adulthood and Family Demography, twentieth century

Fifty years ago, William J. Goode published World Revolution and Family Patterns, a highly influential study of international family change. Goode's main thesis, that, owing to industrialization, family patterns around the world would come to resemble the mid-twentieth-century Western conjugal family, was incorrect. For one thing, that model collapsed in the West soon afterward. But Goode's secondary hypotheses have proven to be correct in at least some regions of the world: that parents' control over their children's family lives would decline; and that the spread of the ideology of the conjugal family would occur even in countries where extensive industrialization had not taken place. Moreover, it is worth understanding why Goode was sometimes incorrect and what forces (such as globalization) he did not foresee. It is also worth examining more recent writings on world family change by leading scholars. This article provides a reconsideration of the book's impact a half-century after it appeared. © 2012 The Population Council, Inc.