Sociology of the Family: Investigating Family Issues / Edition 1

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Sociology of the Family includes in every chapter an article relevant to the topic at hand. These articles include excerpts from well-known books and journal articles. A brief summary and focus questions open the article, stimulating thought; then, a set of discussion questions follows, making the book interactive and promoting active learning. The book will draw readers in with its easy to understand writing style and its catchy opening situations at the beginning of every chapter. It then covers the important topics of race, social class, and gender, in separate chapters, and addresses these issues in all subsequent chapters. This book is unlike others in which theory and research methods are briefly mentioned in an opening chapter (never to be discussed again). In Sociology of the Family, the authors not only cover theory and methods in separate chapters, but theoretical perspectives are continually applied and methodological issues are consistently discussed in consequent chapters throughout the book. Readers will also appreciate the cross-cultural focus that runs throughout the book. With a strong emphasis on cross-cultural family dynamics, this text is excellent for courses that focus primarily on the U.S. or attempt to contextualize family patterns and trends and controversies in the U.S. by comparing them with other national or global trends. For anyone interested in Sociology of Family, Marriage and Family, or Comparative Family Systems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780023096723
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 12/14/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 540
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Each chapter includes “Summary” and “Readings for In-Depth Focus.”


1.American Families in Historical Perspective.

Myths Surrounding Families.

Defining Families.

Families in Historical Perspective.

Families in the Twentieth Century.

Trends: Does History Repeats Itself?

Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Wish We Were.

2.Gathering and Evaluating Data about Families.

Studying Families through Empirical Research.

Research Strategies.

Additional Challenges Studying Families.

Research Ethics.

Evaluating Family Scholarship: A Checklist.

Terry Arendell, Methods, Sources, and Research Needs.

3.Theoretical Perspectives in Family Sociology.

Theories: What Are They and Why Are They Useful?

Symbolic Interaction Theory.

Structural-Functional Theory.

Conflict Theory.

Multiple Theoretical Perspectives.

Wesley R. Burr, Using Theories in Family Science.

4.Understanding Family Diversity.

Understanding Family Patterns.

The Comparative Perspective in Family Studies.

The Comparative Method.

Wyatt MacGaffey, Husbands and Wives.



Sex and Gender.

Sex Development and Differentiation.

Agents of Gender Socialization.

Gender Socialization and Social Change.

Women's Labor Force Participation and Family Life.

Theoretical Perspectives on Gender.

Arlie Hochschild, Joey's Problem.

6.Socioeconomic Status.

The Impact of Social Class.

Defining Socioeconomic Status.

Theoretical Perspectives on Social Stratification.

Measuring Social Class.

Social Class Prototypes.

Socialization and Social Class.

The Perennial Variables: Gender, Race, and Socioeconomic Status.

Karen Seccombe, Stigma and Discrimination.

7.Race and Ethnicity.

Defining Diversity.

Studying Diverse Families.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the United States.

African American Families.

Hispanic American and Latino Families.

Asian American and Pacific Islander American Families.

Native American, Eskimo, and Aleut Families.

Theoretical Perspectives on Minority Families.

Charles Vert Willie, Gifts to America from the Black Experience.


8.Love and Partner Selection.

Dating and Mating in the United States.


Factors That Influence Partner Selection.

Methodological Limitations of Research on Mate Selection.

Social Exchange Theory: A Framework for Understanding Mate Selection.

Gender: A Perennial Variable.

Francesca M. Cancian, Androgynous Love in Marriage.

9.Sexual Attitudes, Behaviors, and Relationships.

Studying Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors.

Trends in Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors.

Explaining the Sexual Revolution.

Sexual Behavior across the Life Span.

Sexuality and the Perennial Variables.

Sexuality and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Susan Sprecher and Kathleen McKinney, Sexual Behaviors in Close Couples.

10.Marital Relationships and Domestic Partnerships.

Marital Adjustment, Relationship Satisfaction, and Quality.

Marital Adjustment over the Life Cycle.

Dealing with Marital Conflict.

Sharon McQuaide, Women at Midlife.

11.Fertility Patterns and Challenges of Parenthood.

Population Patterns and Trends.

Fertility Patterns and Trends.

Use of Birth Control and Abortion.

Deciding to Become a Parent.

Infertility Issues and Opinions.

Margarete Sandelowski, Separate, But Less Unequal.

12.Family Violence.

Defining and Studying Family Violence.

Theories of Family Violence.

Child Maltreatment.

Abuse in Intimate Relationships.

Marital Violence against Women.

Violence in Dating Relationships.

Elder Abuse.

Michael J. Martin, Child Sexual Abuse.

13.Divorce and Remarriage.

Divorce Trends.

Studies Comparing Divorce in Different Countries.

Divorce in the United States.

Effects of Divorce.

Child Custody, Child Support, and Visitation Patterns.


Richard R. Peterson, A Re-Evaluation of the Economic Consequences of Divorce.

Brenda J. Vander Mey, Women Still Suffer the Economic Consequences of Divorce More: What Weitzman Said Back to Peterson.

Richard R. Peterson, Statistical Errors, Faulty Conclusions, Misguided Policy.

14.Singlehood in Perspective.

The Rise in Singlehood: A Sociological Analysis.

Singlehood and Socioeconomic Status.

Singlehood and Gender.

Singlehood and Race and Ethnicity.

Stereotypes and the Problems Singles Encounter.

Diversity among Singles.

Natalie Schwartzberg, Kathy Berliner, and Demaris Jacob, The Couples Culture and the Single Adult.


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