Family Theories: An Introduction

Overview

Offering students both an understanding of what family theory is and a survey of six major theoretical frameworks developed by key social scientists to explain patterns of family life, this book is an ideal introductory textbook in family studies.

The authors begin with a discussion of the purpose of theory and trace the history of theoretical explanations of the family. They then go on to present the six theoretical frameworks: exchange-utilitarian, symbolic-interaction, family...

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Overview

Offering students both an understanding of what family theory is and a survey of six major theoretical frameworks developed by key social scientists to explain patterns of family life, this book is an ideal introductory textbook in family studies.

The authors begin with a discussion of the purpose of theory and trace the history of theoretical explanations of the family. They then go on to present the six theoretical frameworks: exchange-utilitarian, symbolic-interaction, family developmental, systems, conflict and ecological. Each theory is systematically explored through its historical perspective, basic assumptions, core concepts, variations, empirical applications, implications for intervention, and a critique of its weaknesses. Concluding with a typology for analyzing and comparing the six theories, the authors provide directions for future theory development.

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Editorial Reviews

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The author, an originator of the technohistory genre, details the successes and significance of the Japanese Zero fighter aircraft during WWII, incorporating material on the transport section at the Nagoya Aircraft Works and Japanese wartime industry in general in a narrative style. Distributed by Greenwood. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

David M. Klein is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. His current research is on relationship formation, assessment, and dissolution. He co-edited the Sourcebook of Family Theory and Research, and has served as Chair and Archivist of the Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop. He also has been Treasurer of the National Council on Family Relations, and Chair of its Research and Theory Section. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations.

James M. White is a Professor in the School of Social Work and Family Studies at the University of British Columbia and resides with his wife and three daughters in Vancouver, Canada. His research interests include family development as well as marital interaction and communication. He is the author of Dynamics of Family Development (published in the U.S. in 1991 and translated into Japanese in 1994), as well as numerous articles that have appeared in the Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, Journal of Marriage and Family, and elsewhere. His authored and co-authored book chapters include a chapter with R. H. Rodgers on family development in the Sourcebook of Family Theories & Methods (1993). He has served as referee for numerous journals in family relations and public health and is an Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Public Health, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, and The International Encyclopedia of Family Relationships. He is a past-president of the Northwest Council on Family Relations, whose membership includes academics, practitioners, and therapists from the states and provinces of the Pacific Northwest. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations.

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Table of Contents

What Is a Theory?
Explanation, Philosophy, and the History of Theory in Family Studies
The Exchange Framework
The Symbolic Interaction Framework
The Family Developmental Framework
The Systems Framework
The Conflict Framework
The Ecological Framework
The Current State and Future Course of Family Theory

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