1972 Conference: Politics, Power, and the Family
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¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 The 1972 Annual Conference took place November 1–4 in Portland, OR, at the Hilton Hotel. The theme was “Politics, Power, and the Family.” (This was broadly interpreted.) Murray Straus was program chair, and Helen Thun Hartness was local arrangements chair. Twenty-three percent of the total registrations came from student members. The total number of registrations was 888.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Plenary sessions included “Power Struggles and Politics in Family Life Education,” by C. Jay Skidmore, Marie Kruger, and Janice Pearce; “Abortion: Changing Concepts and Future Implications,” by Joy Osofsky; and “Politics, Power, and the Family,” by Jay Haley. The pre-conference that year was a workshop on “Teaching About Women,” sponsored by the Task Force on Women’s Rights and Responsibilities. The Theory and Methods workshop focused on concept development.
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One of my first NCFR conferences was in Portland and I was still a doctoral student then, and a member of the Executive Committee of NCFR as the student rep. It was at that meeting that I was really thinking about my career and where I should go with it. I was a student in family sociology and my chair was Lee Axelson, then the President of NCFR. He wanted me to take a sociology position. But others suggested that my interests would be better served in Child and Family Development (then in Home Ec) where relationship issues would be easier to study. I did not know which way to go.
At that meeting we took a bus trip to the coast of Oregon for a “salmon bake” on the beach. I sat on the bus between Eleanor Luckey and Ruth Jewson. All the way over and back we talked about career directions and those two people who I respected so much listened to me, and gave me their counsel, experience, and wisdom. Eleanor noted that she had been trained in psychology but chose to go into child and family development since there were more peers there who could help her frame her ideas and help them mature. Ruth saw the emerging scholarship in CFD and the quality of research coming out. The result of that was my turning down sociology jobs and taking the CFD position at UNC-Greensboro, where John Scanzoni and others later joined me a a great department. And my first students there were Jay Mancini and Gary Bowen, who have become successful scholars in their own right.
So the memories of that NCFR in Portland so many years ago remind me of how important it is to continue to foster opportunities for young student scholars to meet with senior people who can give them other ideas, and perhaps bring perspectives that their own programs may not be able to offer. Keep mixing us all up, and recognize the key role you play in the stirring of the creative pots in this vital area of family research and practice.
Enjoyed the story. And, what a lucky break for me that you did make this decision. Hope all is well.