Stephanie Coontz

It’s Me or the In-Laws! The Rocky Relationship Between Couples and Kin

March 15, 2013

Stephanie Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and is director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families.

Coontz is the author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, 2011) and the award-winning Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005). She also wrote The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (Basic Books, 1992 and 2000), The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America’s Changing Families (Basic Books, 1997) and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. She edited American Families: A Multicultural Reader (Routledge, 2008). Her writings have been translated into French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, Norwegian, Turkish, Greek, Chinese, Ukrainian and Japanese.

Coontz has testified about her research before the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families in Washington, D.C., and addressed audiences across America, Japan and Europe. She has been a featured speaker at the Renaissance Weekend, PopTech, and Chautauqua and appeared on The Colbert Report, The Today Show, PBS News Hour with Ray Suarez, Oprah Winfrey, Crossfire, 20/20, NPR, CNN’s Talk Back Live, CBS This Morning, CSPAN, The O’Reilly Factor and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams as well as in several prime-time television documentaries, including ones hosted by Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters.

Coontz has published articles in The New York Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Times of London, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, The Washington Post, Newsweek, Harper’s Magazine, Vogue, Life, Time-Life Books and Mirabella as well as in such professional journals as Family Therapy Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Journal of Marriage and Family. She has contributed chapters to more than 25 academic books. A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Coontz has also taught at Kobe University in Japan and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. In 2004, she received the Council on Contemporary Families’ first-ever Visionary Leadership Award. In 1995 she accepted the Dale Richmond Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for her “outstanding contributions to the field of child development.” She also received the 2001-02 Friend of the Family Award from the Illinois Council on Family Relations. She served as a marriage consultant to Ladies’ Home Journal from 2006-2009 and consulted with the Pew Research Center in developing their questionnaire for their 2010 report on the state of marriage and family life in America, as well as with for its 2011 survey on singles.