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Family Theories
An Introduction

Fifth Edition


December 2018 | 360 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Family Theories: An Introduction by James M. White, Todd F. Martin, and new co-author Kari Adamsons provides an incisive, thorough primer to current theories of the family that balances the diversity and richness of a broad scope of scholarly work in a concise manner. This best-selling text draws upon eight major theoretical frameworks developed by key social scientists to explain variation in family life. These frameworks include social exchange and choice, symbolic-interaction, family life course development, systems, conflict, feminist, ecological, and functional theories.

This new Fifth Edition includes suggestions for integrating theory to guide a research program and more applications for those going on to careers in the helping professions. With an increased focus on both classical theories as well as contemporary and emerging theories, this text challenges students to think about how families and family theories have changed over the last 70 years as well as where family scholarship is headed.


 
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Chapter 1 What Is a Theory?
Architecture of a Scientific Theory  
Defining Theory  
Functions of Theory  
Theories About Families  
Evaluation of Theory  
Frameworks  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 2 Classical Social Theories and Family Theories
Philosophies of Science  
Values in Science  
What Is an Explanation?  
Classical Social Theories  
A Brief History of Family Theory  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 3 The Rational Choice and Social Exchange Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 4 The Symbolic Interaction Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 5 The Family Life Course Development Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 6 The Systems Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 7 The Conflict and Critical Theories Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 8 The Feminist Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 9 The Ecological Framework
Intellectual Traditions  
Focus and Scope Assumptions  
Concepts  
Propositions  
Variations  
Empirical Applications  
Critiques and Discussion  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 10 Theory Construction and Emerging Theories
Stages of Theory Construction  
Methods of Theory Construction  
Strategies of Theory Construction  
Emerging Theories  
Conclusion  
Study Questions  
 
Chapter 11 Epilogue
Metatheory and Theory Development  
The Future of Family Theory  
Conclusion  
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors

“This text offers a deeper level of theoretical analysis than other textbook options. It is particularly helpful for those preparing for graduate education.”

Bethany Willis Hepp, PhD
Towson University

“This book does a great job of speaking of each theory--functionalism, social exchange, symbolic interaction, life course, etc.--in an easy to understand, digestible way for students.”      

Richard N Pitt
Vanderbilt University

“It uses scientific language that is necessary to introduce students to the frameworks of theories in general, as well as those that are specifically used within the field of marital and familial studies.” 

Lauren Dick, M.S
Carthage College

“It is probably the most comprehensive text specifically on Family Theories that I have seen."

Duane Alan Dowd, Ph.D.
CFLE Associate professor and Department Chair, Central Washington University

We chose the text because it covered the frameworks that we had already deemed appropriate. We also liked the

assumption/concept/prop format.”

Michelle Sherwood, Prof
Internship and Family Services Program Coordinator, Eastern Illinois University
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • New co-author Kari Adamsons brings a wealth of teaching experience and academic research to this edition.
  • Chapter 10 has been completely revised with a focus on emerging theories as well as theory construction.
  • All chapters are updated and expanded, including a concentrated focus on scientific facts and why they change with new technology and methodology.
  • Critical thinking study questions have been added at the end of each chapter.
KEY FEATURES:
  • Brief fictional vignettes introduce each theoretical framework, concretely illustrating for students how the theory relates to very real aspects of family life.
  • All chapters follow a uniform format that allows students to more easily compare and contrast theories.
  • Each chapter includes a typology for analyzing and comparing the eight frameworks while providing direction for future theory development.
  • Chapters end with critiques, conclusions and critical thinking study questions.



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