"Brave New Stepfamilies is an excellent treatise on today's families....This volume is a welcome addition to the field of family studies, and I highly recommend it."
—Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Columbia University
"A thorough, balanced tour de force!"
—Frances Goldscheider, University of Maryland
Brave New Stepfamilies maps the changing landscape of American stepfamilies, taking readers on a tour through the diverse assortment of traditional and not-so-traditional stepfamily forms that have emerged in recent years. Author Susan D. Stewart presents the latest scholarly research on stepfamilies in an accessible way, weaving together predominant theoretical perspectives, findings from research and national surveys, and interviews with stepfamily members.
- Investigates the social and demographic trends that have irrevocably altered stepfamily life: While most books on stepfamilies focus on divorce and remarriage, this book examines recent trends, such as couples having children and living together outside of marriage, parents sharing custody of children, gay marriage, the aging population, and increasing racial and ethnic diversity, that provide multiple pathways to stepfamily formation.
- Explores a wide range of living arrangements, caregiving, and intimacy scenarios: This book captures the lived experience of contemporary Americans. Extending across various household settings, this book pays special attention to multihousehold stepfamilies, stepparent adoption, stepfamilies with adult stepchildren, and African American stepfamilies.
- Provides practical information on the prevalence of stepfamilies in society: Counting the number of stepfamilies in society is difficult; published estimates are sometimes unreliable. This book describes the latest data sources, trends in data collection, and data limitations. In addition, useful information on the legal and practical realities of living as a stepfamily is provided.
This is an excellent text for a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on family, such as Divorce and Remarriage, Stepfamilies, Family Diversity, Gay and Lesbian Families, Aging and the Family, African American Families, and Family Policy, in departments of sociology, human development & family studies, psychology, African American or ethnic studies, and public policy.