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Sociology of Families

Sociology of Families
Change, Continuity, and Diversity

Second Edition

August 2021 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Sociology of Families: Change, Continuity, and Diversity offers students an engaging introduction to sociological thinking about contemporary families in the United States. Rather than separating discussions of gender, race, class, and sexuality into separate chapters, like other texts often do, author Teresa Ciabattari incorporates family diversity and inequality throughout the text. This concise and integrated approach helps readers explore how these identities and power relations are reflected in family experiences across the life span.


Updated with the latest research, this 2nd edition includes a new chapter on family violence and expanded coverage of both childhood and parenting. By situating family patterns in social, historical, and economic context, Sociology of Families: Change, Continuity, and Diversity explores both what is new in today's families and what links these patterns to the past, further emphasizing the growing diversity of families in the United States. 


1. Introduction
2. Defining Family
3. Sociological Methods and Theories in the Study of Families
4. Young Adults and the Transition to Adulthood
5. Marriage and Cohabitation
6. Divorce and Relationship Dissolution
7. Childhood
8. Parenting
9. Family Work
10. Family Lives of Older Adults
11. Family Violence
12. Social Policy and the Future of Families
Key features


  • New Ch. 11 on Family Violence, which examines child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, and elder abuse. With the research statistics, this chapter identifies the cultural and structural norms that create conditions for family violence.
  • Chapter 7 is now dedicated to childhood and explores how ideologies of childhood have changed over time, how children are socialized, and how children's experiences of childhood are shaped by race, class, and gender.
  • Chapter 8, now dedicated to parenthood, explores the changing ideologies, how parenting is gendered, raced and classed, as well as the unique experiences of immigrant and LGBTQ parents. to link between concepts and controversies across three primary domains—the life course, health care, and socioeconomic trends.
  • Significant revisions and updates throughout the nine other chapters, including cutting-edge sociological thinking about U.S. families, the most recent data and statistics, and expanded coverage of how families are impacted by structural inequalities. 


  • Considers both the ways that contemporary families have changed and the ideological and behavioral threads that link today’s American families with those of the past.
  • Instead of separate chapters on gender, sexuality, race, and social class, family diversity is integrated throughout the text, so that certain family forms and practices are not perceived as “problems.”
  • Ch. 2 in its entirety is devoted to four different approaches to defining “family,” and demonstrates how our ideas about family shift when we move extended families to the center of analysis.
  • Ch. 3 surveys the main theories and methods used by sociologists to study families, and provides a strong foundation for the remainder of the text.
  • Ch. 4 considers the topics of first sexual experiences and romantic partnerships in the larger context of the transition to adulthood.
  • The author provides a wealth of quantitative and qualitative data, in the form of tables and graphs, to support her arguments about family change and continuity.

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ISBN: 9781544342436