Developmental Idealism Imagery

The images presented on these pages portray individuals, families, communities, social organizations, and cultural and historical symbols from a range of societies around the world. Our images include historical portrayals from the artists of Europe in the 1500s and 1600s and from the photographers of America in the late 1800s. We also include recent photos from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. We portray several different slices of family and community life: wedding celebrations; village festivals; family agriculture; widowhood; courtship; the birth of children; grandparenting; caring for sick children; religious worship; and museum displays. We also portray some of the forces for social change, including schools, technological innovations, family planning programs, Christian churches, international organizations, revolutionary movements, and new consumption aspirations. Finally, we picture interviewers collecting information about the lives and ideas of families and individuals.

Images from this site may not be reused for any purpose
without express written permission.


Dec 8: Arland Thornton revisits his 2001 PAA Presidential Address on "Reading History Sideways."

Recent Pub

Special Issue On Developmental Idealism, Sociology of Development, 2019.

Recent Pub

Allendorf, Thornton, Mitchell, and Young-Demarco. "The Influence of Developmental Idealism on Marital Attitudes, Expectations, and Timing." Journal of Family Issues.

Reading History Sideways

The method of reading history sideways is described and critiqued by Arland Thornton

© 2020
Developmental Idealism
Population Studies Center
University of Michigan