Diversity in Families / Edition 9

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This award-winning text treats family diversity as the norm, while highlighting how race, class, gender, and sexuality produce varieties of familial relationships.

Diversity in Families looks at families not as “building blocks of societies” but rather, as products of social forces within society. The authors undertake a critical examination of society, asking questions such as, “How do families really work?” and “Who benefits under the existing arrangements, and who does not?” Their goal is to demystify and demythologize the family by exposing existing myths, stereotypes, and dogmas.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205693078
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/5/2010
  • Series: MyFamilyKit Series
  • Edition number: 9
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Maxine Baca Zinn is professor emerita in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oregon. Her books include: Women of Color in U.S. Society (with Bonnie Thornton Dill), and Gender Through the Prism of Difference (with Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Michael Messner). She is the coauthor (with D. Stanley Eitzen) of Social Problems and Diversity in Families, both of which won McGuffey Awards for excellence over multiple editions from the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Globalization: The Transformation of Social Worlds. She has served as president of the Western Social Science Association. In 2000, she received the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award for expanding the horizons of sociology to include the study of women.

D. Stanley Eitzen is professor emeritus in sociology from Colorado State University, where previously he was the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. He recieved his Ph.D. from the Unitsity of Kansas. Among his books are: Social Problems, which was awarded the McGuffey Longevity Award for excellence over multiple editions in 2000 by the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Diversity in Families (both co-authored with Maxine Baca Zinn), Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from Other Societies (with Graig S. Leeham) , Paths to Homelessness: Extreme Poverty and the Urban Housing Crisis (with Doug A. Timmer and Kathryn Talley), Sociology of North American Sport (with George H. Sage,) and Fair and Foul: Rethinking the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport. He has served as the president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and as editor of The Social Science Journal.

Barbara Wells is associate professor of sociology at Maryville College, where she is also chair of the Division of Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She is co-author of Diversity in Families (with Maxine Baca Zinn and D. Stanley Eitzen). Her research and publishing has centered on marriage, rural families, structural transformation and family life, and Latino families. She is presently working on a book manuscript on the work and family lives of Mexican American women who are daughters and granddaughters of immigrant farm workers.

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Table of Contents





Chapter 1 Images, Ideals, and Myths

Chapter 2 Preindustrial Families and the Emergence of a Modern Family Form

Chapter 3 The Historical Making of Family Diversity

Chapter 4 Macro Forces Affecting Families: the Economy, Immigration, and Aging

Chapter 5 Class, Race, and Gender

Chapter 6 Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family

Chapter 7 The Social Construction of Intimacy

Chapter 8 Contemporary Marriages

Chapter 9 Parents and Children

Chapter 10 Violence in Families

Chapter 11 Divorce and Remarriage

Chapter 12 Emergent Families in the Global Era

Chapter 13 Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century


Chapter 1 Images, Ideals, and Myths

Images and Ideals

Family as Haven

Family as Fulfillment

Family as Encumbrance

Images and Reality

The Mythical U.S. Family

The Myth of a Stable and Harmonious Family of the Past

The Myth of Separate Worlds

The Myth of the Monolithic Family Form

The Myth of a Unified Family Experience

The Myth of Family Consensus

The Myth of Family Decline as the Cause of Social Problems

A New Framework for Understanding Families

The Sociological Perspective

The Paradigm Shift in Family Studies

The Structural Diversity Approach

Chapter 2 Preindustrial Families and the Emergence of a Modern Family Form

Family and the New Social History

What Is “New” about Family History?

Overview of Family History Themes

Family Life in Colonial America

Agricultural Communities and Families

Family Structure and Household Composition

Wives and Husbands


The Emergence of Modern Family Life

Industrialization and Families

Agency, Adaptation, and Change

Household Size and Composition

Wives and Husbands


Challenging a Uniform Definition of the Family

Chapter 3 The Historical Making of Family Diversity

Industrialization and Family Life

New Work Arrangements

Work and Family in Industrial Society

Accordion Households

Immigration and Family Life

The Social Breakdown Perspective

Industrial Work and Immigrant Families

Racial Control and Family Life

New Thinking about Minority Families

Race, Labor, and Family Life

African American Families in Slavery and Freedom

Chicano Families in the Southwest

The Great Depression and Family Change

Chapter 4 Macro Forces Affecting Families: the Economy, Immigration, and Aging

Globalization and the Structural Transformation of the Economy, the Great Recession, and Families


Structural Changes in the United States Because of Globalization

The Great Recession (2007-?)

Downward Social Mobility

Shifting Family Forms

The New Immigration and the Changing Racial Landscape

Demographic Trends and Increasing Diversity

Structural Diversity of Immigrant Families

The Effects of Immigration on Immigrant Families

Immigration and Agency

The Effects of Immigration on Family Dynamics

The New Second Generation

The Aging of Society

The Demographics of an Aging Society

The Consequences of an Aging Society on Families and the Elderly

Role Transitions

Responses by the Elderly: Human Agency

The Three Structural Transformations of Society

Chapter 5 Class, Race, and Gender

Class, Race, and Gender as Structural Inequalities


The Cultural Approach

The Structural Approach


Racial-Ethnic Families

Structural Inequalities and Racial-Ethnic Families

African American Families in the New Century

Latino Families in the New Century

More Racial Ethnic Diversity in Families: Asians, Native Americans, and Middle Easterners

Human Agency and Family Formation


The Traditional gender Roles Approach

Shortcomings of the Gender Roles Approach

The Family as a Gendered Institution

Chapter 6 Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family

The Changing Work Patterns of Women, Men, and Teens

Women’s Employment

Men’s Employment

Teens’ Employment

Integrating Work and Family

Diverse Work-Family Contexts

Gender Inequality

Work Characteristics

Family Characteristics

Invisible and Unpaid Family Work

Gendered Labor in the Household

Other Forms of Family Work

Coping with Work and Family

Family Coping Strategies

Family-Supportive Government and Employer Responses

Chapter 7 The Social Construction of Intimacy

Intimacy in Social Context

Heterosexual Courtship and Mate Selection

Variations in “Dating” Practices

Factors in Mate Selection

Structural Influences on Mate Selection

Changing Sexual Behavior

Society and Sexuality

Enlarging the Sexuality Frame

The Sexual Revolution

Scientific Research on Sexuality


Teen Sexuality

Teenage Childbearing

Differentiated Forms of Intimacy

Gendered Love and Sex

Same-Sex Orientation and Intimacy

Social Class and Intimacy

Race and Intimacy

Claiming Control of Intimacy

Chapter 8 Contemporary Marriages

Marriage: Private and Public Spheres

The Private Nature of Marriage

Macro Influences on Marriage

Recent Trends

Unmarried Adults

Age at First Marriage

Family Size

Interracial or Interethnic Marriages

Racial or Ethnic Mixed Marriages

Life Span and Marriage

Are There Benefits to Marriage?

The Benefits of Marriage

The Benefits of Marriage Reconsidered

Micro Aspects of Marriage

Marital Success

Communication in Marriage

The Sexual Relationship in Marriage

Power and Decision Making in Marriage

Reconstructing Gender Roles: Building an Egalitarian Marriage

The Future of Marriage: Changing or Dying?

Chapter 9 Parents and Children

The Social Construction of Parenting

The Social Construction of Childhood

Demographic Patterns


Voluntary Childlessness

Infertility and New Technologies

Delayed Childbearing

Family Composition

The Impact of Children on Marriage

The Transition to Parenthood

The Benefits of Parenthood

The Costs of Parenthood

Gendered Parenting

The Impact of Parents on Children and of Children on Parents

The Structure of the Family Embedded in a Larger Network of Influences

Parental Time with Children

Family Structure

Extrafamilial Factors

Parents and Children in Dual-Earner Families

Maternal Employment and Time with Children

Social Supports for Working Parents

Single Parents and Their Children

Reprise: The Duality of Parenting

Chapter 10 Violence in Families

Families in a Violent Society

U.S. Violence Rates in Comparative Perspective

Institutionally Sanctioned Violence

Violence in the Media

Customs and Beliefs

Violence and the Social Organization of the Family

Intimate Partner Violence

Violence Against Women

Contexts for Intimate Partner Violence

Types of Partner Violence

Does She Leave or Stay?

Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships

Child Abuse and Neglect

What Is Child Abuse?

Incidence of Child Abuse

Contexts for Child Abuse

Consequences of Child Abuse


Incidence of Incest

Explanations for Incest

Consequences of Incest

Sibling Abuse

Battered Elders

What Is Elder Abuse?

Incidence of Elder Abuse

Contexts for Elder Abuse

Macro and Micro Linkages


The Women’s Movement

The Battered Women’s Shelter Movement

Assessing Progress

Chapter 11 Divorce and Remarriage

Divorce Rates

Trends in Divorce

Factors Correlated with Divorce

Predicting the Divorce Rate: Up or Down?

The Prediction of a Declining or Leveling of the Divorce Rate

The Prediction of a Rising Divorce Rate

The Consequences of Divorce for Spouses and Children

“His” Divorce

“Her” Divorce

Adjustment after Divorce for Ex-Spouses

Children and Divorce

Remarriage after Divorce

Statistical Facts about Remarriage

The Uniqueness of Remarriage

The Outcomes for Stepchildren

The Special Case of Remarriage among the Elderly

The Politics of Divorce

Is Marriage a Failed Institution?

Chapter 12 Emergent Families in the Global Era
The Rise in New Family Arrangements
Families in Transition
The Global Revolution in Family Life
How to Think about Family Diversification
Single Life
The Singles Population
Gender, Race, and Class
Experiencing Single Life
Heterosexual Cohabitation
The Rise of Cohabitation
Who Are Cohabitors?
Gender, Class, and Race
Is Cohabitation a Prelude to Marriage or a Substitute for Marriage?
Same-Sex Partners and Families
Who Is Gay and What Are Gay Families?
Gay Couples and Families
A Shifting Social Context for Same-Sex Partners
The Domestic Partner Movement
Families Separated by Time and Space
Transnational Families

Commuter Marriages and Other Long-Distance Relationships

Chapter 13 Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century

The Ideological Fault Lines

The Conservatives

The Progressives

The Government’s Limits on the Definition of Marriage

The Government and Reproductive Rights




The Shrinking Welfare State

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA of 1996)

Is Welfare Reform Working? An Assessment after Ten Years

The Conservative Solution: Marriage

The Progressive Solution: A Stronger Safety Net

Working Parents

Parental Leave

Child Care

Work-Related Policies and Gender Inequality

Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Children

Poor Children at Risk

The Societal Response to Disadvantaged Children

Funding Programs to Help Disadvantaged Children

Principles to Guide Family Policy: An Immodest Proposal

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