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Choices and Constraints in Family Life



Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press
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Questions About This Book?

What version or edition is this?

This is the 3rd edition with a publication date of 3/30/2014.

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  • Choices and Constraints in Family Life
    Choices and Constraints in Family Life
  • Choices and Constraints in Family Life
    Choices and Constraints in Family Life


Aimed at second- and third-year courses, the third edition of Choices and Constraints in Family Life is a concise yet comprehensive introduction to the sociology of the family. Drawing on such diverse fields as sociology, anthropology, psychology, and cultural studies, author Maureen Baker takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the family, examining the various ways in which personal choices and constraints affect intimate relationships and families. The book begins with definitions and conceptualizations of "the family" before moving on to examine stages in the life course, including forming relationships, cohabitation and marriage, child-rearing, and aging. As one of the very few concise texts currently available for family courses offered out of sociology departments, Choices and Constraints in Family Life provides a critical examination of family life from a seasoned, well-respected authority in the discipline.

Author Biography

Maureen Baker, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Auckland

Maureen Baker is professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. From 1984 to 1990, she worked as a senior researcher for Canada's Parliament, specializing in social policy issues relating to families and women. From 1990 to 1997, she was an associate professor and professor at McGill University. Since January 1998, she has lived and worked in New Zealand. In 2008, she was made a fellow of the New Zealand Academy of the Humanities. In 2009, she was made a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Boxes
Preface and Acknowledgements
1. : Variations in Family Life
2. : Theorizing and Researching Family Life
3. : Forming Intimate Relationships
4. : Formalizing Relationships
5. : Child-bearing, Child-rearing, and Childhood
6. : Household Work and Money
7. : Separation, Divorce, and Re-partnering
8. : Midlife, Aging, and Retirement
9. : Constraints on Personal Choices

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