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Families in Motion

Families in Motion
Dynamics in Diverse Contexts

Other Titles in:
Family Studies (General)

April 2020 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Dynamics of the family can be seen as a complex set of interrelated cogs, like the dials and wheels within a sophisticated timepiece. Families in Motion: Dynamics in Diverse Contexts is a clear, comprehensive, and contextual view of how the dials and wheels of that complex set work together. With a focus on multicultural competence through diverse contexts and examples, this new text explores the complexities of the family regarding roles, functions, and development in a way that is approachable for students. Grounded in theory and using 40 years of academic experience, author Clara Gerhardt guides readers through concepts of family theories and examines the ever-changing movement, communication, and conditions of both the family as a system and each member within the system. Covering approaches from the theoretical to the therapeutic, Families in Motion will support students in extending their cultural competence while understanding families and their members with greater confidence. 

Preface: From the Head and From the Heart
About the Author
Chapter 1. Family Dynamics: Setting Families in Motion
Setting Families in Motion

Family Dynamics: Meaning

Lifespan Development and Family Dynamics

Why Study Family Dynamics?

Defining Families

Census Definitions

Diverse Families

The Family as a System

Functions of the Family

Chapter 2. Dimensions That Influence Dynamics
Tasks, Structure, and Context

The Influences on Dynamics

The Choreography of the Family Dance

Patterns of Family Interaction

Chapter 3. Dynamic Family Commitments
The Circle of Safety

Launching and Landing: The Dynamic Tasks of the Family

The Family Orchestra

Shaping the Dynamics of the System

Dysfunctional Families

Chapter 4. Observing Family Dynamics
Observing Families

Making Dynamics Visible

Cultural Constructions of the Family

Family Interventions

Working With Families

Chapter 5. Explaining Dynamics With Theories
Theories: Seeking Connection and Meaning

Birth of the Family Therapy Movement

Major Theoretical Paradigm Shifts

The Context of Systemic Thinking

Chapter 6. Communication and Family Relationships
Reaching Out and Connecting

Emotional Interactions

Power and Patterns of Decision Making

Communication in Multicultural Contexts

Cultural Echoes: Nuances in Communication

Chapter 7. Communication and Control
Family Scripts

The Power of Disinformation

Family Secrets

Professional and Work-Related Communication

Chapter 8. Changing Communication Patterns
Families in a Digital World

The Dynamics of a Digital World

Family Rituals in a Digital World

Family Communication Networks

Chapter 9. Communication and Resilience
The Pillars of Resilience

Resilience and Self-Regulation

Resilience on Various Systemic Levels

Chapter 10. Communication and Life’s Journey
Families: Constant yet Ever Changing

Dynamics of Partner Selection

Transitions and Turning Points

Lifespan-Related Theories

Chapter 11. Dynamics of Loss
Grief and Mourning

Interventions: Constructivist Psychotherapy

Loss in Limbo: Ambiguous Loss

Narrative Therapy

Grief Support

Grief: The Real Story

Chapter 12. Dynamics of Power and Excess
The Dynamics of Power

The Dynamics of Excess

The Dynamics of Collecting

From Collecting to Hoarding

The Addicted System

Chapter 13. Dynamics of Family Structure and Transitions
Individual Families

Intergenerational Relationships

The Single-Child Family System

Variations in Family Structure

Blended Families

Family Transitions

Healthy Families

Chapter 14. Dynamics of Culture and Change
Culture and Change

Dynamics of International Families

Dynamics of Assimilation

Culture and Communication

Enculturation and Acculturation

Chapter 15. Dynamics of Happiness
The Intentionality of Happiness

Dynamics of Spiritual Development

Education and Public Policy

Family Connections and Rituals



Instructor Resource Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility in creating a multimedia presentation.
  • Test banks provide a range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit and/or insert personalized questions to assess students’ progress and understanding.

Families in Motion is a critical exploration of family issues and dynamics. It goes beyond definitions and stats and offers a more nuanced understanding of what's going on in families.”

Rhonda Buckley
Texas Woman's University

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