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Sociology of Families
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Sociology of Families

Second Edition


February 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
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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