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August 1978

Haven in a Heartless World,

Author Affiliations

Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health University of Rochester School of Medicine Box 644 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(8):825-826. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120330097029

Haven in a Heartless World presents the thesis that the emergence of capitalism created in the 18th and 19th centuries, "the bourgeois family system"; a system in which marriage took place at a relatively late age (compared to other societies) and was arranged by the individuals involved, not by their families. Children came to be seen not as little adults but as people with distinct attributes, "impressionability, vulnerability, innocence, which required a warm, protected, and prolonged period of nurture." As a result, child rearing became more demanding and emotional ties between parents and children more intense. The nuclear family, with increasingly attenuated ties to an extended kin network, became "an emotional refuge in a cold and competitive society...." "Yet the very conditions that gave rise to the need to view privacy and the family as a refuge from the larger world made it more and more difficult for the family

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