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Sociology of Families
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Sociology of Families

Second Edition


© 2002 | 624 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Quotes from the first edition

"I think there is a genuine need for a text like this, and everyone I know who teaches a basic undergraduate family class says that they need a text like this. It's organized around current issues and changes in the family; it's 'reader friendly', grabbing students' interests; it makes connections between a sociological study of the family and the students' experiences; and it emphasizes 'diversity'—race, class, gender, and sexual orientation."

— JUDITH BARKER, Ithaca College

"Never before have I seen a text that offers such a unique and well-rounded view of the complexities of the family."

— KRISTIN BATES, California State University, San Marcos

" I like Newman's consistent attempt to connect personal troubles with social issues, a wonderful way to make social science come alive for undergraduates."

— DANA VANNOY, University of Cincinnati

Sociology of Families, Second Edition, begins at the level of the individual by examining familiar contemporary issues¾ topics students are likely to feel strongly about. David Newman and Liz Grauerholz next show students the deeper and more detailed sociological underpinnings of the issues at hand, using the theories and data of social sciences to understand the meaning and broader relevance of these controversies and experiences.

begins at the level of the individual by examining familiar contemporary issues¾ topics students are likely to feel strongly about. David Newman and Liz Grauerholz next show students the deeper and more detailed sociological underpinnings of the issues at hand, using the theories and data of social sciences to understand the meaning and broader relevance of these controversies and experiences.

The book is divided into three parts that are distinct from one another in style, content, and purpose. Part I contains five relatively short essays that cover some of the key controversial topics and questions swirling around the topic of family today. Part II provides students with a peek into the tools, concepts, and theories that sociologists commonly use in understanding society. Part III is organized around important social forces impacting today's families.

New to the Second Edition:

  • Improved implementation of "inductive" teaching style, upon which the book is based
  • Revised demographic essays
  • 2000 U.S. Census data incorporated throughout the text
  • New visual essays

The 3-part organization replaces the 2-part structure of the first edition.

To visit the Student study site, please visit http://www.pineforge.com/newman2studyfamilies/



 

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
PART I: EXAMINING FAMILY ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES
 
Issue 1: What is a Family?
Images of Family  
The "Official" U.S. Definition of Family  
Blood Families and Chosen Families  
The Controversy over Gay Families  
The Symbolism of Family  
Something to Think About  
 
Issue 2: Is the Institution of Family Breaking Down - and Society with It?
The Family Decline Perspective  
The Family Transformation Perspective  
Something to Think About  
 
Issue 3: How Private Should Family Life be?
The Ideal of Family Privacy  
Parents and Children  
Variations in Family Privacy  
Something to Think About  
 
Issue 4: How Should Individual Rights and Family Obligations be Balanced?
Rights and Responsibilities  
Culture and Family Obligation  
Gender and Family Obligation  
Costs, Benefits, and Family Decisions  
Family Obligation and Social Policy  
A Balance of Individualism and Family Obligation  
Something to Think About  
 
Issue 5: Does Religion Help or Hurt Families?
Spirituality in Contemporary Life  
Religion in America  
How Religion Strengthens Families  
How Religion Creates Stress  
Something to Think About  
 
PART II: THINKING SOCIOLOGICALLY ABOUT FAMILIES
 
Chapter 1. The Sociological Study of Family Life
Windows of Family: The Elusive Family  
Everyday Research  
Theory and Research  
The Modes of Research  
The Trustworthiness of Family Research  
Family Privacy and Research Ethics  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 2. Gender and Families
Windows on Family: What Are Girls and Boys Made Of?  
Sex and Gender  
Learning Gender  
Doing Gender  
Gender and Power  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 3. Race, Ethnicity, and Families
Windows on Family: Multiracial Families  
Racial and Ethnic Identity  
African-American Families  
Asian-American Families  
Hispanic Families  
The Diversity Question  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 4. Wealth, Poverty, and Families
Windows on Family: Lifestyles of the Rich and the Poor  
Class Stratification  
Poverty and Family Life  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
PART III: INVESTIGATING FAMILIES OVER THE LIFE COURSE
 
Chapter 5: Love, Sexuality, and Attraction
Windows on Family: Incurably Romantic  
The Cultural Context of Intimacy  
Romantic Love  
Sexuality  
Dating and Courtships  
Social Theories of Intimate Relationships  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 6. Couple and MarriageChanging American Families
Windows on Family: What It Means to be a Couple  
Couples' Lives  
Marriages  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 7. Work Life and Family Life
Windows on Family: When Home Is Work and Work Is Home  
Two Worlds: Work and Family  
Dual-Earner Families  
The Balance Between Work and Family  
The Domestic Divisin of Labor  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 8. Parenthood and Parenting
Windows on Family: Patriarchs, Fathers, and Dads  
Pronatalism  
The Process of Becoming Parents  
Gender and Parenthood  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 9. Childhood and Child Rearing
Windows on Family: Growing up in Two Worlds  
The Historical Construction of Childhood  
Children's Power in Families  
Adolescence  
The Social Complexities of Child Rearing  
The Issue of Child Care  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 10. Imtimate Violence
Windows on Family: A Violent Society Begets Violent Homes  
The Roots of Intimate Violence in the United States  
Violence in Dating Relationships  
Violence Between Spouses and Partners  
Child Abuse  
Elder Abuse  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 11. Divorce and Remarriage
Windows on Family: Blending Families  
Divorce in Cultural Context  
Divorce American Style  
Uncoupling  
Divorce and Children  
Remarriage and Stepfamilies  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 12. Family Transitions in Adulthood
Windows on Family: Cycles of Change  
Family Transitions and the Life Course  
The Influence of Birth Cohorts  
The Transitions of Adulthood  
Old Age  
Death and Families  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
Chapter 13. Families in a Changing Society
Windows on Family: Family Change  
Social Changes  
Recemt and Future Family Trends  
Family Policy  
A Final Word  
Conclusion  
Chapter Highlights  
Your Turn  
 
References
 
Credits
 
Glossary/Index

This is an essential text, for any course exploring aspects of the family.

It covers all the major areas, including social and demographic trends and the impact of these changes on family structure. It also examines key theoretical approaches to the family, as well as highlighting challenging issues such as the dark side of the family.

The text is easy to read and understand for all levels of learners, ranging from level 3 through to undergraduate and beyond.

Although the major focus of the text is US, the key themes can be applied to families within the UK and Europe, making this text an essential read for any student exploring sociology of the family.

Mr Gavin Hatton
Sociology , Merthyr Tydfil College
September 26, 2016

This book is essential for any course exploring the Sociology of the Family. Although it is generally focused on the family unit within the United States, it offers significant exploration of many of the core themes within this field of Sociology.

Published in 2002, some of the content, particularly the focus on gay marriage is somewhat dated, however, the focus on theory, social inequality and gender roles within families, remain as relevant today as it did when the book was initially published. Greater focus on families and social change within the UK, would certainly offer an improvement, however, the books detail overcomes this potential disadvantage.

The layout of the book is outstanding, it covers core themes in significant detail, allowing students to easily identify select the relevant areas. I would highly recommend this book to any institution offering courses exploring Sociology of the Family. It provides all the relevant details, in a concise and easy to understand way.

Mr Gavin Hatton
Sociology , St David's College
September 30, 2015

It's the best!

Professor Paul Benjamin
Behavioral Science, Columbia Greene Cmnty College
November 4, 2014

Perfectly suitable for students new to sociology and studying in this field.

Mr Lewis Simpson
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
October 22, 2014

This book is clear an concise and covers many key chapters relating to the sociology of the family such as, the study of family life, gender and families, race, ethnicity and families as well as sociological theory. A definite recommend to any undergraduate or postgraduates studying this area or, anyone with a keen interest in this area. The book is set out clearly and is reader friendly with picture pages that can be shown to groups of students for discussion.

Miss Rebecca Bolan
Education, Carshalton College
January 13, 2014

interesting reading for sociology students . would recommend for tutors teaching.

Mrs Helen Hurst
Social Work Studies, Warrington Collegiate
November 28, 2013

A very useful text to dip in and out of with a particularly interesting chapter on gender in the family

Miss Charlotte Jones
Warwick Institute of Education, Warwick University
August 25, 2012

A very comprehensive account of the key themes in the study of sociology of families. An excellent resource for students writing essays or preparing for exams.

Dr Katie Cagney
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
July 18, 2012

Absolutely fantastic book. Well structured, accessible and relevant to the area. Bringing well constructued arguments to the fore for students to engage in. However, as it is a Sociology of the family in the US it can only be used comparatively.

Dr Jill O'Mahony
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
October 20, 2011

Perfect companion text for graduate courses, written in a clear and informative way

Professor Johann Gleich
Abteilung Köln, Katholische Hochschule Nordrhein-Westfalen
January 26, 2011

Pages

Key features
  1. Unique 3-part organization covering issues, sociological concepts and theories useful in studying families, and social phenomena impacting families – introduces students to the study of families by first reading about familiar familial issues.
  2. Very clear and accessible presentations with a wealth of pertinent, timely examples.
  3. Because the three parts of the book are so closely related, cross-referencing is frequently done in the page margins of chapters in Parts II and III back to the Issues in Part I. Similarly, at the ends of each of the five Issues sections, there are tables linking material to relevant discussions in Parts II and III.
  4. Each chapter in Parts II and III opens with a photographic essay – Windows on Family - which conveys important information through visual portraits of family life.
  5. Chapters in Parts II and III also contain "Demo-Graphics" sections with charts and graphs presenting key statistical information.
  6. Research features – Your Turn sections - conclude chapters in Parts II and III and suggest suitable research topics for students to pursue.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Issue 1: What is a Family?


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