In this accessible, engaging, and up-to-date course book, Susan L. Brown employs ethnographic vignettes and demographic data to introduce students to twenty-first century perspectives of contemporary families. Conceived of as a primary or secondary text in classes on family and marriage, this book probes momentous shifts in the definition of family, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and policy debates on welfare reform and work-familly issues. Brown also chronicles the rise in non-marital childbearing and single mother families and the decline of "traditional" marriage. The book delves into the historical roots of family change, current trends of family formation and dissolution, and the implications of family change for the well-being of adults and children. With a lens towards socioeconomic inequality and racial-ethnic variation in family patterns, Families in America illustrates how family diversity is now the norm.
Susan L. Brown is Professor and Chair of Sociology and Co-Director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.