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Sociology of Families: Change, Continuity, and Diversity

by Teresa Ciabattari SAGE Publications, Inc
Pub Date:
Pbk 264 pages
AU$156.00 NZ$158.26
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The family patterns seen in recent decades - cohabitation, divorce, nonmarital childbearing, same-sex marriage and childrearing - can seem like radical changes from the past. But upon closer examination, many are consistent with broader trends that have been going on for centuries. Sociology of Families: Change, Continuity, and Diversity considers this tension between change and continuity, situating families in a social, historical, and economic context, and emphasizing how these contexts create family diversity and inequality.


By incorporating diverse family structures into each chapter, author Teresa Ciabattari has written a text that challenges idealized assumptions about how families should be, and instead explores the complex realities of how families actually are.


Contributor to the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award Find out more at href="">

Chapter 1: Introduction
Family Change, Family Continuity
Family Diversity and Inequality
Sociological Perspective on Families
Applying the Sociology Perspective: The Standard North American Family and the Ideology of Separate Spheres
Understanding Contemporary Families
A Demographic Snapshot of U.S. Population
Looking Ahead
Chapter 2: Defining Family
Defining Family: Four Approaches
How Americans Define Family
Extended Families
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Defining Families
Chapter 3: Sociological Methods and Theories in the Study of Families
Scientific Method
Micro and Macro Approaches to Studying Families
Research Methods
Theoretical Frameworks in the Sociology of Families
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Family Methods and Theories
Chapter 4: Young Adults and the Transition to Adulthood
Defining the Transition to Adulthood
Transition to Adulthood in Historical Context
Transition to Adulthood in the Early Twenty-first Century
Young Adult Sexuality and Romantic Partnerships
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in the Transition to Adulthood
Chapter 5: Marriage and Cohabitation
Marriage and Divorce in Historical Context
Contemporary Coupling
Marriage Markets
Marriage, Cohabitation, and Education
Marriage, Cohabitation, and Race-Ethnicity
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Marriage and Cohabitation
Chapter 6: Divorce and Relationship Dissolution
Rising – and Declining – Divorce
Demography of Divorce
The Process of Uncoupling
Relationship Dissolution and Children
Relationship Dissolution among Unmarried Parents
Supporting Children When Parents Breakup
Remarriage and Blended Families
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Divorce and Relationship Dissolution
Chapter 7: Parents and Children
Children and Parents in Historical Context
Issues in Contemporary Childrearing
Opting Out of Parenthood
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Parenting and Childhood
Chapter 8: Family Work
Ideology of Separate Spheres
Defining Care Work
Empirical Patterns of Employment, Housework, and Childcare
Work-Family Conflict and Social Policy
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in Family Work
Chapter 9: Family Lives of Older Adults
Defining Old Age
Demographic Context
Romantic Relationships among Older Adults
Intergenerational Solidarity and Ambivalence
Intergenerational Exchanges
Family Complexity and Aging Families
Change, Continuity, and Diversity in the Family Lives of Older Adults
Chapter 10: Social Policy and the Future of Families
Defining Family
Family Change
Family Continuity
Family Diversity, Inequality and Social Policy
Future of American Families
Change, Continuity, and Inequality in American Families

“[Sociology of Families] covers the major topics, and does so in a way that consistently addresses the theme of family continuity and change.  The writing style should engage students in a kind of conversation with the author.”

Teresa Ciabattari - Pacific Lutheran University, United States