You are here

Advancing Family Theories

Advancing Family Theories

October 2004 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
`A perfect companion text for graduate courses on family theories. It is refreshing to have a single author pull no punches in articulating a viewpoint on where we have gone astray in family theory and how we can find our way again. Jim White has accomplished the nearly impossible mission of being informative, balanced, clear, and provocative at the same time' - William J Doherty, University of Minnesota

`Professor White has written a "must-read" book for anyone interested in family theory. This well-written and timely text . . . tackles difficult topics head on, offering pragmatic solutions and nicely nuanced insights. Advancing Family Theories is exactly the sort of book that lends itself well to both the classroom and more specialized theoretical and empirical work' - Jay Teachman, Western Washington University

How can the study of families be scientific? What is the difference between postmodern and positivistic approaches? What is the role of models and metaphors in constructing our theoretical knowledge? In Advancing Family Theories, author James M White addresses such difficult questions that have been longstanding issues within the field of family studies and examines these matters from a social science perspective.

Advancing Family Theories explores two contemporary theories of the family-rational choice theory and transition theory. These diametrically different approaches illuminate what differing theories reveal about families. The book also discusses how meta-theories can assist in building and refining theory and offers insight on the "understanding versus explanation" debate. Advancing Family Theories gives students a precise notion of what a theory is and how theories work in research. The book not only looks at philosophical realms but also examines particular substantive theory to explain and predict family behaviors.

Key Features:

- Uses a theme of "models and metaphors" to unite what often seems to be conflicting approaches to theory and context

- Allows readers to view differing research as theoretical and complementary rather than competitive and exclusive

- Shows how to develop thesis research questions and how to identify theory relevant to substantive research interests.

Advancing Family Theories is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on family theory, research, and methods. It is an excellent supplemental text to Family Theories, Second Edition by James White and David Klein (SAGE, 2002) and is brief enough to be used in a number of classroom settings. The book helps students with the task of taking abstract and very general theories and reducing them to a level of specific research models and hypotheses.

1. Introduction
Part I: Understanding Theory: Product and Process
2. Family Theory and Social Science
3. Science and Its Critics
4. Theory, Models, and Metaphors
5. Functions and Types of Theory
Part II: Advancing Substantive Family Theory
6. Rational Choice Theory and the Family
7. Transition Theory
Part III: Beyond Theory: Ethics, Ideology, and Metatheory
8. Empirical Research and Theory
9. Theory and Human Values
10. Conclusion: Theories as Tools for Studying Families
Author Index
Subject Index
About the Author

The information within text in this book relates very well to the course working with families involves.
The book has been purchased within the library and will be available for learners to use.
Valuable resource for all levels working with families.

Mrs Karen Cooke
childhood studies, North Manchester Community College
May 13, 2015

Easy to follow and informative. Really good book for students interested in family changes and theories

Miss Johanne Child
early years, Wakefield College
May 7, 2015

A well organised critical introduction to the topic.

Dr Stephen Brown
School of Applied Social Sciences, Brighton University
October 11, 2012

A well-written text that explores family theory including difficult subject matter.

Mrs Lesley Prowse
Education , Sandwell College
November 24, 2009

For instructors

Please select a format:

Select a Purchasing Option

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.