Ferriter, Diarmuid. 'Book review: Cottage to crèche: family change in Ireland / by Finola Kennedy. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2001'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, Summer/Autumn, 2002, pp. 259–262, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
Officially, huge importance was attached to the family in twentieth century Ireland, the most obvious manifestation of this is in the Constitution of 1937 where it is afforded the status of a moral institution with inalienable and imprescriptible rights. In practice however, there was a huge gulf between the ideals and the reality. In this marvellous book, Finola Kennedy has shown that ultimately, the ideal constitutional notion of the family, particularly towards the end of the century, could not remain above and beyond economic realities. This book is one of the most significant to have been published on modern Irish history because despite its place at the centre of Irish life and official rhetoric, there has been little sustained examination of the family as an institution. This is all the more surprising, given the author’s contention that change in the various dimensions of Irish family life amounted to a social revolution within an economic revolution, as Ireland, for so long the exception to normal European
demographic trends, began to mirror the trends of its European neighbours.
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