Diversity in Families

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  • Edition: 10th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-04-02
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Treats Family Diversity as the Norm


Diversity in Families, 10/e by Maxine Baca Zinn, D. Stanley Eitzen, and Barbara Wells is organized around the structural-diversity framework. This framework views family diversity as the norm and follows that all families in society are shaped through their interaction with social structures. Families are viewed not as the “building blocks of societies” but rather, as products of social forces within society. The authors demystify and demythologize the family by exposing myths, stereotypes, and dogmas, allowing students to emerge with an understanding of why families are diverse.


Author Biography

Maxine Baca Zinn is professor emerita in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oregon. Her books include: Women of Color in U.S. Society (with Bonnie Thornton Dill), and Gender Through the Prism of Difference (with Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Michael Messner). She is the coauthor (with D. Stanley Eitzen) of Social Problems and Diversity in Families, both of which won McGuffey Awards for excellence over multiple editions from the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Globalization: The Transformation of Social Worlds. She has served as president of the Western Social Science Association. In 2000, she received the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award for expanding the horizons of sociology to include the study of women.


D. Stanley Eitzen is professor emeritus in sociology from Colorado State University, where previously he was the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. He recieved his Ph.D. from the Unitsity of Kansas. Among his books are: Social Problems, which was awarded the McGuffey Longevity Award for excellence over multiple editions in 2000 by the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Diversity in Families (both co-authored with Maxine Baca Zinn), Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from Other Societies (with Graig S. Leeham) , Paths to Homelessness: Extreme Poverty and the Urban Housing Crisis (with Doug A. Timmer and Kathryn Talley), Sociology of North American Sport (with George H. Sage,) and Fair and Foul: Rethinking the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport. He has served as the president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and as editor of The Social Science Journal.

Barbara Wells is associate professor of sociology at Maryville College, where she is also chair of the Division of Social Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She is co-author of Diversity in Families (with Maxine Baca Zinn and D. Stanley Eitzen). Her research and publishing has centered on marriage, rural families, structural transformation and family life, and Latino families. She is presently working on a book manuscript on the work and family lives of Mexican American women who are daughters and granddaughters of immigrant farm workers.

Table of Contents

In this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents

1. Brief Table of Contents:


Chapter 1:    Images, Ideals, and Myths

Chapter 2:    Preindustrial Families and the Emergence of a Modern Family Form

Chapter 3:    The Historical Making of Family Diversity   

Chapter 4:    Families and the New Economic Realities   

Chapter 5:    Families and Demographic Trends: The New Immigration and the Aging of Society

Chapter 6:    Class, Race, and Gender     

Chapter 7:    Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family

Chapter 8:    The Social Construction of Intimacy

Chapter 9:    Contemporary Marriages

Chapter 10:  Parents and Children

Chapter 11:  Violence in Families

Chapter 12:  Divorce and Remarriage

Chapter 13:  Emergent Families in the Global Era

Chapter 14:  Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century


2. Full Table of Contents


Chapter 1:     Images, Ideals, and Myths

Images and Ideals

Images and Reality  

The Mythical U.S. Family     

A New Framework for Understanding Families

Additional Features of This Book


Chapter 2:     Preindustrial Families and the Emergence of a Modern Family Form

Myths and Realities  

Family and the New Social History

Family Life in Colonial America

The Emergence of Modern Family Life      


Chapter 3:     The Historical Making of Family Diversity         

Myths and Realities  

Industrialization and Family Life

Immigration and Family Life

Racial Control and Family Life

The Great Depression and Family Change


Chapter 4:     Families and the New Economic Realities

Myths and Realities

The Structural Transformation of the Economy

The Transformation of the Economy and The Great Recession


Chapter 5:     Families and Demographic Trends: The New Immigration and the Aging of Society

Myths and Realities

The New Immigration and the Changing Racial Landscape

The Aging of Society


Chapter 6:     Class, Race, and Gender

Myths and Realities  

Class, Race, and Gender as Structural Inequalities





Chapter 7:     Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family

Myths and Realities  

The Changing Work Patterns of Women, Men, and Teens

Integrating Work and Family

Invisible and Unpaid Family Work

Coping with Work and Family


Chapter 8:     The Social Construction of Intimacy

Myths and Realities  

Intimacy in Social Context   

Heterosexual Mate Selection and Intimate Partnering

Changing Sexual Behavior

Differentiated Forms of Intimacy   


Chapter 9:     Contemporary Marriages

Myths and Realities  

Marriage: Private and Public Spheres        

Recent Trends         

Are There Benefits to Marriage?

Micro Aspects of Marriage

Reconstructing Gender Roles: Building an Egalitarian Marriage    

The Future of Marriage: Changing or Dying?        


Chapter 10:   Parents and Children

Myths and Realities  

The Social Construction of Parenting         

The Social Construction of Childhood        

Demographic Patterns        

The Impact of Children on Marriage

The Impact of Parents on Children and of Children on Parents   

Parents and Children in Dual-Earner Families

Reprise:  The Duality of Parenting

Single Parents and Their Children   

Reprise: The Duality of Parenting   


Chapter 11:   Violence in Families

Myths and Realities  

Families in a Violent Society 

Intimate Partner Violence

Child Abuse and Neglect      


Sibling Abuse 

Elder Abuse   

Macro and Micro Linkages   



Chapter 12:   Divorce and Remarriage

Myths and Realities  

Divorce Rates

Predicting the Divorce Rate: Up or Down? 

The Consequences of Divorce for Spouses and Children  

Remarriage after Divorce

The Politics of Divorce        

Is Marriage a Failed Institution?     


Chapter 13:   Emergent Families in the Global Era

Myths and Realities  

The Rise in New Family Arrangements      

Single Life

Heterosexual Cohabitation   

Same-Sex Partners and Families    

Families Separated by Time and Space     


Chapter 14:   Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century      

Myths and Realities  

The Ideological Fault Lines   

The Government’s Limits on the Definition of Marriage    

The Government and Reproductive Rights


Working Parents

Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Children

Principles to Guide Family Policy: An Immodest Proposal

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