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Larry Basirico quoted in Wall Street Journal holiday story

The professor of sociology shared his expertise for a Dec. 9, 2015, column about a Pennsylvania family navigating the holidays for the first time without the husband and wife who brought everyone together each Christmas.

Professor Laurence Basirico

Elon University Professor Laurence "Larry" Basirico was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal feature that told the story of Helen and Bill Allen, a married couple who died two days apart nearly a year ago, and their children's efforts to maintain holiday traditions for the first time without parents.

"The First Christmas Without Mom and Dad" was published Dec. 9, 2015, by Clare Ansberry for her column "Turning Points."

From the report:

"Parents are often the reason adult children get together at the holidays. Without them, children have to decide whether to continue, modify or let go of those gatherings. They may find that they lack parents’ pull. ...

"More often than not, it is the daughters who try to preserve some type of family reunion, says Laurence Basirico, a professor of sociology at Elon University.

"'Women feel responsible for keeping the emotional part of the family together,' he says. 'It’s one of those cultural norms that is slow to change and that we aren’t comfortable giving up.' Even among his sociologists and academic friends, all sensitive to gender equality, the job of organizing holidays and family outings is often up to the wives, he says."

Basirico joined the faculty of Elon’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 1983. His areas of teaching and research are social psychology and the sociology of the family. His research on family reunions has received extensive national publicity.

Eric Townsend,
12/10/2015 11:20 AM