Families : A Social Class Perspective

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-06-30
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc

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A brief, impactful book that provides a contemporary analysis of how economics and social class affects the concept of family today. This book focuses on the impact of economic systems and social class on the organization of family life. Since the most vital function of the family is the survival of its members, the author give primacy to the economic system in structuring the broad parameters of family life; that is, the economy shapes the prospects families have for earning a decent living by determining the location, nature, and pay associated with work. Taking a broad global and historical approach, the book recognizes and explores how the broader economy shapes family life and examines the organization of family life across the social class hierarchy.

Table of Contents

Series Preface: Contemporary Family Perspectivesp. ix
Author Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Family Studies and Social Inequalitiesp. xv
Understanding Families in Social Contextp. xix
Social Inequality: The Seeds of Discontentp. xxi
The Revolutions of the 1960s and 1970sp. xxiii
Making Social Class Visiblep. xxviii
Defining Social Classp. xxix
Brief Overview of Chaptersp. xxxii
The Evolution of Families and Marriagesp. 1
Families and Marriage: A Brief Historyp. 3
The Concept of Marriagep. 4
Early Hunting and Gathering Societiesp. 5
Settled Agricultural Societies: The Rise of Social Inequalitiesp. 6
Transformations in Families and Marriagesp. 7
The Merging of Religion, Law, and Family Lifep. 8
Institutionalizing Inequalities: Gender and Racep. 9
Racial and Ethnic Stratificationp. 11
Social Inequalities in Colonial Americap. 12
Confronting the Racial ˘Other÷p. 15
African American Familiesp. 16
Industrialization and the Modern Familyp. 18
The Spread of Industrialization to the New Worldp. 19
Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Industrial Americap. 20
Gender in Industrial Americap. 21
The Sociological Study of Familiesp. 22
The Modern Isolated Nuclear Familyp. 23
Middle-Class America: Realities, Myths, and Transitionsp. 25
The Post-Industrial Economy and Growing Class Inequalityp. 27
Theorizing Social Inequalitiesp. 29
Structural Functionalismp. 32
Structural Functionalism and Social Inequalityp. 33
Structural Functionalism and the Familyp. 34
Symbolic Interactionismp. 35
Symbolic Interactionism and Social Inequalityp. 35
Symbolic Interactionism and the Familyp. 37
Conflict Theoryp. 37
Conflict Theory and the Familyp. 38
Theorizing Gender Inequalityp. 39
Feminist Theories of the Family and Social Classp. 41
An Intersectionality Approach to Genderp. 42
Theorizing Race and Ethnicityp. 43
Race and Family Theories: The Case of African Americansp. 45
From Social Class to Culture: Racial Minorities in Family Studiesp. 47
Bringing Social Class Back Inp. 49
Elite and Upper-Class Familiesp. 53
Defining the Upper Classp. 54
Economic Elites: Historic Originsp. 58
The Industrial Elitep. 59
Family Life in the Upper Classp. 61
Marital and Gender Relationsp. 62
Socializing Childrenp. 64
Conclusionp. 68
Middle-Class Families: Stability and Changep. 69
Origins of the Middle Classp. 72
The Modern Middle-Class Familyp. 73
The Golden Age of the Familyp. 75
Postmodern Middle-Class Familiesp. 76
Renegotiating Family Workp. 78
Balancing Work and Family: Beyond the Housework Dilemmap. 81
Having and Rearing Childrenp. 82
Gender and Racial Socializationp. 86
Racial Socializationp. 87
The Decline of the Middle Classp. 88
Economically Marginal Families: Living on the Edgep. 91
Who Are the Economically Marginal?p. 92
Explaining Povertyp. 95
The Culture-Structure Nexusp. 95
The Post-Industrial Decline and Resurgence of Culturep. 97
The Marriage Declinep. 99
Strained Gender Relationsp. 101
The Perils of Marriagep. 103
Having and Rearing Childrenp. 105
Life in Single-Mother Familiesp. 108
The Well-Being of Children in Single-Parent Familiesp. 109
Social Policy and the Poorp. 112
Is Marriage the Answer?p. 113
Conclusionp. 115
Families in Global Economic Contextp. 117
Theorizing Global Inequalitiesp. 119
Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspectivep. 121
Families Across the Globep. 122
The Persistence of Economic and Social Class Inequalityp. 124
Bibliographyp. 127
Indexp. 145
About the Authorp. 149
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