Diversity in Families

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-02-15
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This award-winning text treats family diversity as the norm,while highlighting how race, class, gender, and sexuality produce varieties of familial relationships. Diversity in Familieslooks at families not as #x1C;building blocks of societies#x1D; but rather, as products of social forces within society. The authors undertake a critical examination of society, asking questions such as, #x1C;How do families really work?#x1D; and #x1C;Who benefits under the existing arrangements, and who does not?#x1D; Their goal is to demystify and demythologize the family by exposing existing myths, stereotypes, and dogmas.

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








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 Macro Forces Affecting Families:  the Economy, Immigration, and Aging

Chapter 5 Class, Race, and Gender

Chapter 6 Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family

Chapter 7 The Social Construction of Intimacy

Chapter 8 Contemporary Marriages

Chapter 9 Parents and Children

Chapter 10 Violence in Families

Chapter 11 Divorce and Remarriage

Chapter 12 Emergent Families in the Global Era

Chapter 13 Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century



Chapter 1 Images, Ideals, and Myths                                                                       

Images and Ideals

    Family as Haven

    Family as Fulfillment

     Family as Encumbrance

Images and Reality

The Mythical U.S. Family

    The Myth of a Stable and Harmonious Family of the Past

    The Myth of Separate Worlds

    The Myth of the Monolithic Family Form

    The Myth of a Unified Family Experience

    The Myth of Family Consensus

     The Myth of Family Decline as the Cause of Social Problems

A New Framework for Understanding Families

     The Sociological Perspective

     The Paradigm Shift in Family Studies

     The Structural Diversity Approach

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

Family and the New Social History

    What Is “New” about Family History?

    Overview of Family History Themes

Family Life in Colonial America

    Agricultural Communities and Families

    Family Structure and Household Composition

    Wives and Husbands


The Emergence of Modern Family Life

    Industrialization and Families

    Agency, Adaptation, and Change

    Household Size and Composition

    Wives and Husbands


    Challenging a Uniform Definition of the Family                


Chapter 3 The Historical Making of Family Diversity

Industrialization and Family Life

    New Work Arrangements

    Work and Family in Industrial Society

    Accordion Households

Immigration and Family Life

    The Social Breakdown Perspective

    Industrial Work and Immigrant Families

Racial Control and Family Life

    New Thinking about Minority Families

    Race, Labor, and Family Life

    African American Families in Slavery and Freedom

    Chicano Families in the Southwest

The Great Depression and Family Change

Chapter 4 Macro Forces Affecting Families:  the Economy, Immigration, and Aging        

Globalization and the Structural Transformation of the Economy, the Great Recession, and Families


    Structural Changes in the United States Because of Globalization

    The Great Recession (2007-?)

    Downward Social Mobility

    Shifting Family Forms

The New Immigration and the Changing Racial Landscape

    Demographic Trends and Increasing Diversity

    Structural Diversity of Immigrant Families

    The Effects of Immigration on Immigrant Families

    Immigration and Agency

    The Effects of Immigration on Family Dynamics

    The New Second Generation

The Aging of Society

    The Demographics of an Aging Society

    The Consequences of an Aging Society on Families and the Elderly

    Role Transitions

    Responses by the Elderly: Human Agency

The Three Structural Transformations of Society

Chapter 5 Class, Race, and Gender                                                                                                       

Class, Race, and Gender as Structural Inequalities


    The Cultural Approach

    The Structural Approach


    Racial-Ethnic Families

    Structural Inequalities and Racial-Ethnic Families

    African American Families in the New Century

    Latino Families in the New Century

    More Racial Ethnic Diversity in Families: Asians, Native Americans, and Middle Easterners

    Human Agency and Family Formation


    The Traditional gender Roles Approach

     Shortcomings of the Gender Roles Approach

    The Family as a Gendered Institution

Chapter 6 Meshing the Worlds of Work and Family                                                                                        

The Changing Work Patterns of Women, Men, and Teens

    Women’s Employment

    Men’s Employment

    Teens’ Employment

Integrating Work and Family

    Diverse Work-Family Contexts

    Gender Inequality

    Work Characteristics

    Family Characteristics

Invisible and Unpaid Family Work

    Gendered Labor in the Household

    Other Forms of Family Work

Coping with Work and Family

    Family Coping Strategies

    Family-Supportive Government and Employer Responses

Chapter 7 The Social Construction of Intimacy

Intimacy in Social Context

Heterosexual Courtship and Mate Selection

    Variations in “Dating” Practices

    Factors in Mate Selection

    Structural Influences on Mate Selection

Changing Sexual Behavior

    Society and Sexuality        

    Enlarging the Sexuality Frame

    The Sexual Revolution     

    Scientific Research on Sexuality


    Teen Sexuality

    Teenage Childbearing

Differentiated Forms of Intimacy

    Gendered Love and Sex

    Same-Sex Orientation and Intimacy

    Social Class and Intimacy

    Race and Intimacy

    Claiming Control of Intimacy


Chapter 8 Contemporary Marriages

Marriage: Private and Public Spheres

    The Private Nature of Marriage

    Macro Influences on Marriage

Recent Trends

    Unmarried Adults

    Age at First Marriage

    Family Size

    Interracial or Interethnic Marriages

    Racial or Ethnic Mixed Marriages         

    Life Span and Marriage

Are There Benefits to Marriage?

    The Benefits of Marriage

    The Benefits of Marriage Reconsidered

Micro Aspects of Marriage

    Marital Success

    Communication in Marriage

    The Sexual Relationship in Marriage

    Power and Decision Making in Marriage

Reconstructing Gender Roles: Building an Egalitarian Marriage

The Future of Marriage: Changing or Dying?

Chapter 9 Parents and Children

The Social Construction of Parenting

The Social Construction of Childhood

Demographic Patterns


    Voluntary Childlessness

    Infertility and New Technologies

    Delayed Childbearing

    Family Composition

The Impact of Children on Marriage

    The Transition to Parenthood

    The Benefits of Parenthood

    The Costs of Parenthood

    Gendered Parenting

The Impact of Parents on Children and of Children on Parents

The Structure of the Family Embedded in a Larger Network of Influences

    Parental Time with Children

    Family Structure

    Extrafamilial Factors

Parents and Children in Dual-Earner Families

    Maternal Employment and Time with Children

    Social Supports for Working Parents

Single Parents and Their Children

Reprise: The Duality of Parenting

Chapter 10 Violence in Families

Families in a Violent Society

    U.S. Violence Rates in Comparative Perspective

    Institutionally Sanctioned Violence

    Violence in the Media

    Customs and Beliefs

    Violence and the Social Organization of the Family

Intimate Partner Violence

    Violence Against Women

    Contexts for Intimate Partner Violence

    Types of Partner Violence

    Does She Leave or Stay?

    Domestic Violence in Same-Sex Relationships

Child Abuse and Neglect

    What Is Child Abuse?

    Incidence of Child Abuse  

    Contexts for Child Abuse

    Consequences of Child Abuse


    Incidence of Incest

    Explanations for Incest

    Consequences of Incest

Sibling Abuse

Battered Elders

    What Is Elder Abuse?

    Incidence of Elder Abuse

    Contexts for Elder Abuse

Macro and Micro Linkages      


    The Women’s Movement

    The Battered Women’s Shelter Movement

    Assessing Progress

Chapter 11 Divorce and Remarriage

Divorce Rates

    Trends in Divorce

    Factors Correlated with Divorce

Predicting the Divorce Rate: Up or Down?

    The Prediction of a Declining or Leveling of the Divorce Rate

    The Prediction of a Rising Divorce Rate

The Consequences of Divorce for Spouses and Children

    “His” Divorce

    “Her” Divorce

    Adjustment after Divorce for Ex-Spouses  

    Children and Divorce   

Remarriage after Divorce

    Statistical Facts about Remarriage

    The Uniqueness of Remarriage

    The Outcomes for Stepchildren

    The Special Case of Remarriage among the Elderly

The Politics of Divorce  

Is Marriage a Failed Institution? 

Chapter 12 Emergent Families in the Global Era
The Rise in New Family Arrangements
    Families in Transition
    The Global Revolution in Family Life
    How to Think about Family Diversification
Single Life
    The Singles Population
    Gender, Race, and Class
    Experiencing Single Life
Heterosexual Cohabitation
    The Rise of Cohabitation
    Who Are Cohabitors?
    Gender, Class, and Race
    Is Cohabitation a Prelude to Marriage or a Substitute for Marriage?
Same-Sex Partners and Families
    Who Is Gay and What Are Gay Families?
    Gay Couples and Families
    A Shifting Social Context for Same-Sex Partners
    The Domestic Partner Movement
Families Separated by Time and Space
    Transnational Families

    Commuter Marriages and Other Long-Distance Relationships


Chapter 13 Family Policy for the Twenty-First Century

The Ideological Fault Lines

    The Conservatives

    The Progressives

The Government’s Limits on the Definition of Marriage

The Government and Reproductive Rights




    The Shrinking Welfare State

    The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA of 1996)

    Is Welfare Reform Working? An Assessment after Ten Years

    The Conservative Solution: Marriage

    The Progressive Solution: A Stronger Safety Net          

Working Parents                      

    Parental Leave                    

    Child Care                                    

    Work-Related Policies and Gender Inequality

Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Children

    Poor Children at Risk

    The Societal Response to Disadvantaged Children

    Funding Programs to Help Disadvantaged Children

Principles to Guide Family Policy: An Immodest Proposal  

Rewards Program

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