The way we never were by Stephanie Coontz


The way we never were by Stephanie Coontz


The book “the way we never were” which is authored by Stephanie Coontz takes a keen look at the two centuries of American family life and creates a series of myths and half-truths that are subject to modern society(Bromley 92). The author places current family dilemmas in the context of far-going demographic, economic and political changes. Coontz puts a lot of weight on contemporary issues such as privacy, love, parenting, and division of labor along with the male and female partner in the family or rather along gender lines. The author goes ahead to talk about the black family, feminism and sexual practice in the family (Reed 08).


Coontz is so sensitive to gender and mentions in the third chapter “my mother was a saint”. She analyses the contradictions that are evident in the traditional labor division. She goes ahead to reveal how in a few times the family showed economic and emotional independence suggesting that migration from the community to the nuclear family setup was uncalled for. The book gives a new dimension to the often too debatable agenda-sullied subject. In a certain chapter, she reframes the myth of black family collapse gives another interpretation of the family crises generally, hence putting it in the larger picture of social, economic and political ills.

The book responds to the questions about family crises which are always raised by the illiterate audience she addresses. She does not try to defend traditions in the era of family collapse or to separate the society from its constraint, she analyses through the kind of sentimental and historical thinking that has created unrealistic expectations about the ideal family.  A quote, “I show how these myths distort the diverse experiences of other groups in America”, she goes on and writes “and argue that they don’t even describe most white, middle-class families accurately.” the reality of history is that there is no single family setup that has ever protected its people from poverty or social disruption and no traditional undergoing that may provide an executable model for how we might organize the family relations in today’s world.

Americans especially those who are of the conservative nature realize that the fifties are an age that should have never gone by. Schools taught reading, writing, and arithmetic. Sex was confined to the bedroom of the married couples(Bromley 92). The teenager was viewed as virgins and children were docile. In fact, Coontz asserts that the era wasn’t all that innocent since her statistics on teenage pregnancy and shotgun weddings are a real eye-opener. Furthermore, the myth of a suburban two parent, two family child, self-sufficient economically and emotionally was not only fostered and perpetuated for economic reasons but a historical mistake even in America (Reed 08)


Since its inception, the religious right has tried to convince America that the world wouldn’t be the same and all of our social problems would be resolved if we could go back to the 1950s as represented in Leave it to Beaver and countless other comedies designed to “imitate”  middle-class suburban lifestyle.

Stephanie Coontz points out; this was a movie myth that never existed in real life. Instead, women were maimed from illegal abortions, gays were bashed at an alarming rate, schools were discriminated, the disabled were never shown to the public and sexual and domestic violence did not happen to “good” people. Telling it like it really was is not a PC fairy tale, but a practical reality if we are to finally confront and undo some of America’s social problems

Politicians have successfully exploited this myth for their own personal needs because there have been no people to oppose them in that.   If this was possible, we would discover the new left had its roots in the backlash against Senator Joe McCarthy and his communist witch hunts (Bromley 92). The cover picture of him with a Robin Morgan who was young is particularly ironic in the sense that the former star proved her as one of the most prolific and articulates leaders of women’s liberation in the 1960s.

Family Values have become such an emotional issue because we are not sure what they are supposed to mean (Reed 08). Surely, any politician can accept the concept and even make a career out of such claims.

The chapter on teenage pregnancy and unmarried mothers proves that the higher rates occurred before the legislation of birth control and the acceptance of abortion and the only difference is that girls who decided to keep their babies are not taken to maternity homes or forced to terminate school (Bromley 92). Additionally, she points out the young girls who engage in sex are not feminists because they are more likely than non-sexually active peers to have very strong dependence desires as well as traditional roles in gender.

Coontz should have done more research on the existence of childhood sexual molestation and the legal system that allowed it by leaving it to go unpunished. It is ironic that the decade where Americans enjoyed the least of human rights was also the time when childhood sexual abuse was the dominant affair (Reed 08). However, Coontz tried to provide an overview that the subject matter itself could go to the extent of providing material that could be sufficient to write another book on its own.

American families have really transformed in the last 15 years and nearly half of all the families that have children have both parents in a job and the curiosity about change is not called for(Bromley 92). Recently, there has been a lot of decay that has occurred in the society and the Americans are no exception. As Coontz observes, “Twenty-five percent of the people polled in a recent national inquiry into American morality said that for $10 million they would abandon their entire family; a large number of people are evidently willing to do the same thing for free.”

Coontz argues that what we are experiencing now is not so much the family’s dissolution as “an erosion of commitment to social obligations in general, and to children in particular.” Furthermore, things were not as good in the past (Reed 08). Section by sections, Coontz takes on the myths. Divorce may prove to be the end of many commitments today, but mostly due to the high rate of mortality, the average period of marriage in the Colonial times was less than 12 years.

The “Life with Father” Victorian family in which men were the providers and women the domestic workers raised its prevalence to the fact that other families were not rich. Middle-class women often had a lot of time to spend with their children since they would employ workers who took care of the domestic chores. Often these works were immigrants from Germany and Wales were girls as young as 11years (Mistry 02).


Coontz points out that 20% of American children are poor and live in orphanages, she writes, “At the turn of the century the same proportion lived in orphanages, not because they actually lacked both parents, but because one or both parents simply could not afford their upkeep.”

Coontz’s view on the Golden Age of the family–Ward and June, Ozzie and Harriet–is not new to us at all, but it can be worth to be mentioned again (Duda 03). “The apparently stable families of the 1950s were the result of an economic boom and the GNP increased by approximately 250% and per capita income by 35%.”

The book “the way we never are derived from a passionate point to explain to the general public that every social ill that exists in the society comes from the fact that there exist, bad parents, bad parenting shouldn’t be used as an excuse for the social decay (Bromley 92)


Bromley, P. M., and N. V. Lowe. Family law. 8th ed. London: Butterworths, 1992. Print.


Duda, Karen. The American family. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2003. Print.


Mistry, Rohinton. Family matters. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2002. Print.


Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello: an American family. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008. Print.


Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper