Marriage and the Family: A Christian Perspective


This revised and updated, 21st century edition of a widely used textbook discusses the sociology of the family, historical perspective, alternative lifestyles, minority families, mate selection, premarital sex, sexuality, and singleness. It also addresses marital adjustment, communication, conflict resolution, childbearing, parenting, gender roles, aging, finances, and violence. Marriage and the Family uses case studies, discussion questions, suggested reading, glossary, tables, and illustrations to help the ...
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This revised and updated, 21st century edition of a widely used textbook discusses the sociology of the family, historical perspective, alternative lifestyles, minority families, mate selection, premarital sex, sexuality, and singleness. It also addresses marital adjustment, communication, conflict resolution, childbearing, parenting, gender roles, aging, finances, and violence. Marriage and the Family uses case studies, discussion questions, suggested reading, glossary, tables, and illustrations to help the reader understand the importance of strong family units in crucial times.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310201564
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/24/1999
  • Edition description: Special
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 810,498
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen A. Grunlan (DMin, Luther Theological Seminary) is pastor of Grace Fellowship, an Evangelical Free church in Overland Park, Kansas, and adjunct instructor in sociology at Grossmont College. He is coauthor of Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective, and co-editor of Christian Perspectives on Sociology. SPANISH BIO: Stephen A. Grunlan (DMin Luther Teologica Seminario) es el pastor de Grace Fellowship, un iglesia libre evangelica en Overland Park, Kansas, y un instructor del adjunto en sociologia a Grossmont College. Es co-autor de antropologia cultural, una perspectiva cristiana, y co-editor de perspectivos cristianas sobre sociologia.
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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Study of the Family
1. The Sociological Study of Marriage and the Family
2. Cross-Cultural and Intercultural Perspectives
Part 2: Pairing and Singlehood
3. Dating and Courtship
4. Premarital Intimacy
5. Singlehood
Part 3: Marriage
6. Husband-and-Wife Relationship
7. Human Sexuality
8. Economics
9. Living and Growing Together
Part 4: Life Cycle of the Family
10. Childbearing
11. Child Rearing
12. The Middle Years
13. Aging and Death
14. Divorce and Remarriage
Appendix: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Author Index
Subject Index
2.1 Kinship diagram
2.2 Patrilineal kinship group
2.3 Matrilineal kinship group
2.4 Parallel-cousin marriage
2.5 Cross-cousin marriage
2.6 Parallel-cousin marriage among the patriarchs
3.1 Reiss's Wheel Theory of Love
3.2 The field of eligibles
3.3 Stimulus-value-role theory
4.1 Degrees of sexual behavior
4.2 Suggested levels of intimate activities
6.1 Marital spectrum
7.1 Cross section of the male reproductive system
7.2 External female genitalia
7.3 Cross section of the female reproductive system
7.4 Female menstrual cycle
7.5 Phases of sexual response
8.1 Financial values questionnaire
8.2 Sample budget form
9.1 A couple's relationship with God affects their relationship with each other
10.1 The relationship between birth order, family size, and IQ
10.2 Condoms
10.3 The diaphragm and its application
10.4 Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
10.5 Vaginal spermicides and their application
10.6 Tubal ligation
10.7 Vasectomy
11.1 Level of marital satisfaction at various stages of the family life cycle
13.1 Growth in the United States of the population 65 years and over, 1900-2030
13.2 Robertson's four grandmother roles
1.1 The academic disciplines
2.1 Percentage of married-couple households, female-householder, and male-householder by race
2.2 1990 population of largest Asian-American groups
3.1 The difference between infatuation and authentic love
4.1 Sexual activities engaged in by high school students
4.2 Percent of teenagers who have had intercourse
4.3 Attitudes toward premarital sex
5.1 Percentage of the population over 18 that is single by sex, race/ethnicity, and status
5.2 Shostak's types of singles
6.1 Median age at first marriage
6.2 State marriage laws as of 1997
6.3 Normal biological sex differences
6.4 Masculine, feminine, and neutral items on the Bem sex-role inventory
8.1 Recommended budget allotments
10.1 Prenatal development
10.2 Parenthood contemplation questions
10.3 Possible estrogen side effects from birth control pills
11.1 Child development
11.2 Adolescent development
14.1 Marriages, divorces, and the ratio between them in the United States
14.2 Crude and refined divorce rates in the United States
14.3 1990 U.S. marriages by previous marital status of the bride and groom
14.4 Major problems encountered by parents in reconstituted families
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First Chapter

The Sociological Study of Marriage and the Family
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase. . . .'
Genesis 1:27 -- 28
With their wedding date still a few months off, George broke his engagement to Carol because he felt she was too 'immature' to develop a meaningful relationship. Two weeks later Carol met Carl, who is thirty-two --- twelve years her senior --- and has been married twice before. His last wife divorced him while he was in a state mental hospital for observation of aggressive tendencies (wife beating). Carol's parents are evangelical Christians and are against her marrying Carl, to whom she became engaged six weeks after they met. Carol has been raised in a Christian home, whereas Carl, although baptized as an infant, has not involved himself with a church since he was a child. Carol's parents want her to go to college and are also concerned that Carl is a high-school dropout. Are Carol's parents' concerns warranted?
Fred and Alice have been married for three years and find that they are arguing more and more. Communication seems to have completely broken down. As Alice describes it, they seem to talk at each other rather than to each other. They both feel that they love each other, and they both want their marriage to work. Are there any techniques or procedures that could improve their communication with each other?
Ralph and Edith have been married for twenty-three years and have two children, the youngest of whom will be leaving for college in a couple of months. Their other child is married. Ralph suffered a mild heart attack last year, and his doctor has restricted his activities so that he had to turn down a job offer with another firm that would have meant a major advance in his career. Edith had three years of college before they were married, and now that their youngest child is leaving for college, she wants to start attending classes at a local branch of the state university to work toward a teaching degree. Ralph is upset by this because he feels he earns enough money to support the family and because his aged mother, who was just widowed, needs a place to live. Ralph would like to bring her to his home and have Edith stay home and care for her. This has led to serious tension in their relationship. Are the tensions being experienced by Ralph and Edith typical for couples in midlife? Can these types of tensions be avoided or reduced?
As we will see, sociology is a research science rather than a helping or service discipline. However, sociological research in the area of marriage and the family investigates issues such as those raised in these three case studies. The research findings can be of great assistance to social workers, therapists, ministers, and others who work with individuals facing marriage and family problems. In this book we will examine sociological research that applies directly to these case studies as well as research related to a variety of other issues.
Since each of us is a member of a family, and since over 90 percent of all adults will marry at least once (U.S. Bureau of Census 1990:2), marriage and family is a reality that is part of life for each of us. However, marriage and family are not just personal realities but also social realities, and therefore they are subject matter for study by sociologists. Before looking at the sociological study of marriage and the family, we should have a brief introduction to the discipline of sociology.
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