A Sociology of Family Life

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Polity, May 29, 2012 - Medical - 240 pages
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New kinds of intimate relationships such as post-divorce families, co-habiting couples, ‘friends as family' and same-sex unions are now commonplace. This book explores the growing diversity of family life by presenting a comprehensive assessment of recent research and theory, and foregrounds new thinking about ‘family', parenting, childhood and personal life.

A Sociology of Family Life queries notions of moral decline by revealing a remarkable persistence of commitment and reciprocity across cultures in traditional and new family relations. This insightful and innovative work examines factors such as gender, race, ethnic identity and new sexual lifestyles in relation to cultural customs, government policies and social inequalities.

Global dimensions of intimate life are explored, including the impact of population policies on fertility in several nations; ethical dilemmas associated with reproductive technologies among different cultures; interdependencies between rich and poor nations through the globalization of domestic care; and transnational marriage strategies. This book will be indispensable for students across the social sciences interested in change in intimate relations.

Selected by Choice as a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Traditional Approaches to the Family
14
2 Individualization Intimacy and Family Life
34
3 Parenting Practices and Values
55
4 The Changing Nature of Childhood
76
5 Families and Ageing Societies
94
6 Globalization Migration and Intimate Relations
114
7 Families Fertility and Populations
135
8 Families and New Reproductive Technologies
154
Personal Life Family and Friendship
174
Notes
191
Bibliography
193
Index
230
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About the author (2012)

Deborah Chambers is professor of media and cultural studies at Newcastle University.

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