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Sociology of Families

Sociology of Families

Second Edition

March 2002 | 624 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Second Edition of this comprehensive text on the sociology of the family features:

- improved implementation of the 'inductive' teaching style, upon which the book is based

- reorganization and restructuring for more flexible teaching

- revised demographic essays

- 2000 United States Census data incorporated throughout

Issue 1: What is a Family?
Images of Family

The "Official" U.S. Definition of Family

Blood Families and Chosen Families

The Controversy over Gay Families

The Symbolism of Family

Something to Think About

Issue 2: Is the Institution of Family Breaking Down - and Society with It?
The Family Decline Perspective

The Family Transformation Perspective

Something to Think About

Issue 3: How Private Should Family Life be?
The Ideal of Family Privacy

Parents and Children

Variations in Family Privacy

Something to Think About

Issue 4: How Should Individual Rights and Family Obligations be Balanced?
Rights and Responsibilities

Culture and Family Obligation

Gender and Family Obligation

Costs, Benefits, and Family Decisions

Family Obligation and Social Policy

A Balance of Individualism and Family Obligation

Something to Think About

Issue 5: Does Religion Help or Hurt Families?
Spirituality in Contemporary Life

Religion in America

How Religion Strengthens Families

How Religion Creates Stress

Something to Think About

Chapter 1. The Sociological Study of Family Life
Windows of Family: The Elusive Family

Everyday Research

Theory and Research

The Modes of Research

The Trustworthiness of Family Research

Family Privacy and Research Ethics


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 2. Gender and Families
Windows on Family: What Are Girls and Boys Made Of?

Sex and Gender

Learning Gender

Doing Gender

Gender and Power


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 3. Race, Ethnicity, and Families
Windows on Family: Multiracial Families

Racial and Ethnic Identity

African-American Families

Asian-American Families

Hispanic Families

The Diversity Question


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 4. Wealth, Poverty, and Families
Windows on Family: Lifestyles of the Rich and the Poor

Class Stratification

Poverty and Family Life


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 5: Love, Sexuality, and Attraction
Windows on Family: Incurably Romantic

The Cultural Context of Intimacy

Romantic Love


Dating and Courtships

Social Theories of Intimate Relationships


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 6. Couple and MarriageChanging American Families
Windows on Family: What It Means to be a Couple

Couples' Lives



Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 7. Work Life and Family Life
Windows on Family: When Home Is Work and Work Is Home

Two Worlds: Work and Family

Dual-Earner Families

The Balance Between Work and Family

The Domestic Divisin of Labor


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 8. Parenthood and Parenting
Windows on Family: Patriarchs, Fathers, and Dads


The Process of Becoming Parents

Gender and Parenthood


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 9. Childhood and Child Rearing
Windows on Family: Growing up in Two Worlds

The Historical Construction of Childhood

Children's Power in Families


The Social Complexities of Child Rearing

The Issue of Child Care


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 10. Imtimate Violence
Windows on Family: A Violent Society Begets Violent Homes

The Roots of Intimate Violence in the United States

Violence in Dating Relationships

Violence Between Spouses and Partners

Child Abuse

Elder Abuse


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 11. Divorce and Remarriage
Windows on Family: Blending Families

Divorce in Cultural Context

Divorce American Style


Divorce and Children

Remarriage and Stepfamilies


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 12. Family Transitions in Adulthood
Windows on Family: Cycles of Change

Family Transitions and the Life Course

The Influence of Birth Cohorts

The Transitions of Adulthood

Old Age

Death and Families


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn

Chapter 13. Families in a Changing Society
Windows on Family: Family Change

Social Changes

Recemt and Future Family Trends

Family Policy

A Final Word


Chapter Highlights

Your Turn


The hardcopy I received was from 2002.

Dr Carolyn L. Zook
Sociology Dept, Portland State University
March 28, 2022

This is an essential text, for any course exploring aspects of the family.

It covers all the major areas, including social and demographic trends and the impact of these changes on family structure. It also examines key theoretical approaches to the family, as well as highlighting challenging issues such as the dark side of the family.

The text is easy to read and understand for all levels of learners, ranging from level 3 through to undergraduate and beyond.

Although the major focus of the text is US, the key themes can be applied to families within the UK and Europe, making this text an essential read for any student exploring sociology of the family.

Mr Gavin Hatton
Sociology , Merthyr Tydfil College
September 20, 2016

This book is essential for any course exploring the Sociology of the Family. Although it is generally focused on the family unit within the United States, it offers significant exploration of many of the core themes within this field of Sociology.

Published in 2002, some of the content, particularly the focus on gay marriage is somewhat dated, however, the focus on theory, social inequality and gender roles within families, remain as relevant today as it did when the book was initially published. Greater focus on families and social change within the UK, would certainly offer an improvement, however, the books detail overcomes this potential disadvantage.

The layout of the book is outstanding, it covers core themes in significant detail, allowing students to easily identify select the relevant areas. I would highly recommend this book to any institution offering courses exploring Sociology of the Family. It provides all the relevant details, in a concise and easy to understand way.

Mr Gavin Hatton
Sociology , St David's College
September 30, 2015

It's the best!

Professor Paul Benjamin
Behavioral Science, Columbia Greene Cmnty College
November 4, 2014

Perfectly suitable for students new to sociology and studying in this field.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
October 22, 2014

This book is clear an concise and covers many key chapters relating to the sociology of the family such as, the study of family life, gender and families, race, ethnicity and families as well as sociological theory. A definite recommend to any undergraduate or postgraduates studying this area or, anyone with a keen interest in this area. The book is set out clearly and is reader friendly with picture pages that can be shown to groups of students for discussion.

Miss Rebecca Bolan
Education, Carshalton College
January 13, 2014

interesting reading for sociology students . would recommend for tutors teaching.

Mrs Helen Hurst
Social Work Studies, Warrington Collegiate
November 28, 2013

A very useful text to dip in and out of with a particularly interesting chapter on gender in the family

Miss Charlotte Jones
Warwick Institute of Education, Warwick University
August 25, 2012

A very comprehensive account of the key themes in the study of sociology of families. An excellent resource for students writing essays or preparing for exams.

Dr Katie Cagney
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
July 18, 2012

Absolutely fantastic book. Well structured, accessible and relevant to the area. Bringing well constructued arguments to the fore for students to engage in. However, as it is a Sociology of the family in the US it can only be used comparatively.

Dr Jill O'Mahony
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
October 20, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Issue 1: What is a Family?

For instructors

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ISBN: 9780761987499