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Race and Family

Race and Family
A Structural Approach

© 2006 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"The author provided interesting, original examples which I found engaging. . . . I think the biggest strength is avoiding the 'one ethnicity per chapter' approach found in so many books on family diversity. I like the structural approach."  
- Hilary A. Rose, Concordia University

"A very useful book as a companion text for courses on race and ethnicity….The chapters are easy to follow for undergraduate students."
- Renxin Yang, Northern Michigan University  

"I think the book is needed because there are limited choices currently available and this book is moving in the right direction….A strength is that it is not an edited book like so many other books on this topic.  There is a need for detailed study of ethnic minority families, and I am excited about making this book my required text for my Ethnic Families Course."                      
- Cheryl Burgan Evans, Miami University  

"I find the emphasis on social structure particularly appealing.  To date, I have used Taylor's [edited] book, which depends on the instructor to provide all of the integration."                              
- Gretchen Cornwell, Pennsylvania State University    

In Race and Family: A Structural Approach, author Roberta L. Coles looks at ethnic minority families in a novel way— through a structural lens. Unlike many texts on race and family, this book offers an approach that illustrates overarching structural factors affecting all families as opposed to examining each ethnicity in isolation from one another. By focusing on various structural factors such as demographic, economic, and historical aspects, this book analyzes various family trends in a cross-cutting manner to exemplify the similarities and distinctions among all racial and ethnic groups.  

Key Features:

  • Establishes commonalities and differences across various cultures within American society in an approach that enables students to better compare and contrast different ethnic groups
  • Covers multiracial families, in addition to traditional ethnic groups such as African American, Native American, Latino American, and Asian American, to provide the most contemporary examination of American families
  • Uses the latest research and Census data to present a relevant assessment of trends in family structure, gender relations, intergenerational relations, family violence, acculturation, interracial marriage, and adoption in an increasingly diverse American context
  • Includes an annotated listing of suggested videos, autobiographies, articles, and Web sites students can explore for further information  

Race and Family is a brief core textbook designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying ethnic minority families and family diversity in the departments of Human Development & Family Studies, Family & Consumer Sciences, and Sociology.  




Ch. 1. Introduction
Overview of text  
Discussion of key concepts  
Ch. 2. Approaching the Study of Race and Family
Economic Factors  
Demographic Factors  
Historical-legal factors  
Ch. 3. A Brief History of the American Family
American Families through the Centuries  
Ch. 4. Cross-cultural Comparisons
Social or Legal Marriage  
Marriage types and choices  
Marriage as a family affair  
Family power systems  
Family Functions  
Ch. 5. Family Structures
Extended Family Households  
Nuclear family households  
Single-parent families  
Nonfamily households  
Ch. 6. Gender Relations and Sex Ratios
Gender stereotypes and roles  
Sex ratios  
African American gender issues  
Latina/o gender issues  
Asian American gender issues  
Native American gender issues  
Domestic Violence  
Ch. 7. Intergenerational Relations: Parent and Child
Individual and communal orientations  
Effects of socioeconomic status on children’s well-being  
Racial socialization  
Cultural rituals that contribute to racial socialization  
Ch. 8. Intergenerational Relations in Late Life: The Elderly, Their Adult Children and Grandchildren
Intergenerational interaction  
Illness and death  
Ch. 9. African American Families
How did slavery shape Black American families?  
African American families after slavery  
African American families today  
Ch. 10. Native American Families
Looking back in history  
The state of American Indians and their families today  
Ch. 11. Latino American Families
Manner and timing of entry  
Similarities among Hispanic families  
Divergent trends among Latino ethnic groups  
Ch. 12. Asian American Families
East Asians in America  
Southeast Asians in America  
Asian American families today  
Ch. 13. Acculturation and Multiracial Family Issues
Multiracial issues  
Bi- or multi-racial identity  
Transracial adoption  
Key features
Rather than exploring individual ethnic groups in isolation of one another, the author seeks to establish commonalities across racial/ethnic groups within American society to better highlight differences and why they exist when exploring individual groups.

In addition to covering the traditional "big four" racial/ethnic groups, the author includes a chapter on multiracial families, a group which has received greatly increased attention within the past decade.

Chapters conclude with a "Resources" section providing an annotated listing of suggested videos, autobiographies, articles, and web sites students can explore for further information, and key terminology is highlighted and defined in text.

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