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Author Gillis, John R.

Title A world of their own making : myth, ritual, and the quest for family values / John R. Gillis
Edition First edition
Published New York : Basic books, [1996]


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
 MELB  306.85 Gil/Wot  AVAILABLE
Description xix, 310 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents Pt. I. Different Times, Different Places: Meanings of Family and Home Before the Modern Age. 1. Myths of Family Past. 2. At Home with Families of Strangers. 3. Life and Death in a Small Parenthesis -- Pt. II. Enchanting Families: The Victorian Origins of Modern Family Cultures. 4. A World of Their Own Making. 5. Making Time(s) for Family. 6. No Place Like Home -- Pt. III. Mythic Figures in the Suburban Landscape. 7. The Perfect Couple. 8. Mothers Giving Birth to Motherhood. 9. Bringing Up Fathers: Strangers in Our Midst. 10. Haunting the Dead -- Pt. IV. New Times and New Places: Myths and Rituals for a Global Era. 11. Conclusion: Remaking Our Worlds
Summary Our whole society may be obsessed with "family values," but, as historian John Gillis points out in this entertaining and eye-opening narrative, most of our images of "home sweet home" are of very recent vintage. In fact, our most cherished family rituals (Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, white weddings, reunions, Father's Day, and Mother's Day) didn't even exist until the Victorian era. A World of Their Own Making questions our idealized notion of "The Family," a mind-set in which myth and symbol still hold sway. As the families we live with become more fragile, the symbolic families we live by become more powerful. Yet it is only by accepting the notion that our rituals, myths, and images must be open to perpetual revision that we can satisfy our human needs and changing circumstances. Our families are worlds of our own making. By using the past to throw light on the present, Gillis empowers us to enjoy and accept responsibility for our own creations
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (241-298) and index
Subject Families festivals -- History
Families -- Folklore.
Families -- North America -- History.
Families -- Europe -- History.
Family festivals -- History.
LC no. 96003843
ISBN 0465054145