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 on contemporary families. Appropriate 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-family issues. Brown also explores the rise in nonmarital childbearing and single-mother families and the decline of “traditional” marriage by delving 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 toward socioeconomic inequality and racial-ethnic variation in family patterns, Families in America illustrates how family diversity is now the norm.
The Sociology in the Twenty-First Century series introduces students to a range of sociological issues of broad interest in the United States today, with each volume addressing topics such as family, race, immigration, gender, education, and social inequality. These books—intended for classroom use—will highlight findings from current, rigorous research and demographic data while including stories about people’s experiences to illustrate major themes in an accessible manner. Learn more at www.ucpress.edu/go/sociologyinthe21stcentury.
List of Illustrations
1. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Families
2. Pathways to Family Formation
3. Union Dissolution and Repartnering
4. Adult and Child Well-being in Families
5. Family Policy Issues: Domestic and International Perspectives
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.
“I read Susan Brown’s book with pleasure. It is a succinct and savvy account of our rapidly changing family system. It stands out as an empirically rich and judicious treatment of the American family.”—Frank Furstenberg, Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Behind the Academic Curtain: How to Find Success and Happiness with a Ph.D.