When did “the American family” rhetoric begin?
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  When did “the American family” rhetoric begin?
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Author Topic: When did “the American family” rhetoric begin?  (Read 441 times)
darklordoftech
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« on: January 11, 2020, 11:22:05 PM »

People think it began with McCarthyism, but Herbert Hoover talked about it in his 1928 campaign.
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Atomic-Statism
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2021, 12:31:45 AM »
« Edited: November 21, 2021, 12:37:02 AM by Anaphylactic-Statism »

Actually, more recently than you would think. "Family values" as a political term dates back to its appearance on the Republican platform in 1976, and the nuclear family itself only became the most common form in the US in the 1960s and 1970s before steadily declining. The rhetoric only started up when the ideal of a breadwinning father, homemaking mother, and two or three children was challenged at that time.

This ideal depended on a certain level of industrialization, urbanization, and wages to be practical for the masses despite having existed in some form for centuries going back to Europe, and it was imposed in a big way on Post-World War II US society, when the economic expansion and baby boom created more nuclear families than ever. Socioeconomic power was concentrated in the hands of Greatest Generation war veterans, their wives, and their Baby Boomer children. Corporations and politicians naturally began to craft their messaging for this huge and unprecedentedly prosperous demographic, and that invisibly enforced suburbia left a lasting impression on people who experienced it.
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bunkerposter
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2021, 07:24:51 AM »

The Massachusetts Bay colony.
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DT
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2021, 10:17:19 AM »

Intergenerational and mixed families were quite common before World War II, especially in rural areas.

People forget how common it was back then to become a widow/widower at a relatively young age, which resulted in a lot of re-marriage.  It was also a lot more common for husbands or adult sons to work/live away from the rest of their families for extended periods of time.  People also generally had a lot more kids.
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