Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years
Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Population Council, Inc.
Population and Development Review
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 577–607, December 2012
How to Cite
Cherlin, A. J. (2012), Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years. Population and Development Review, 38: 577–607. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00528.x
- Issue online: 27 DEC 2012
- Version of Record online: 27 DEC 2012
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.