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Couples, Kids, and Family Life

Edited by Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein

Publication Date - 27 October 2005

ISBN: 9780195177909

224 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

Offers a distinctive view of what the social worlds of family life might look like from the standpoint of "insiders"--family members.


Since "family" takes on such highly varied forms, any discussion of what it is, who it is, or what family life is like is bound to be complicated--perhaps even controversial. Couples, Kids, and Family Life examines these issues in an engaging and insightful way, approaching the realm of family from "the inside out." Offering a distinctive view of what the social worlds of family life might look like from the standpoint of "insiders," it examines family perspectives and scenarios though the eyes of partners, parents, children, and significant others. Featuring a series of specially commissioned chapters by leading scholars in the field, the book uses real-life examples to present a distinctive look at the social worlds of domestic life.
Divided into three parts, Couples, Kids, and Family Life includes discussion questions after each chapter, suggesting ways of approaching the key concerns laid out in each section. Part I, "Couples," focuses on married or soon-to-be married partners, addressing such topics as romanticism and realism in marriage, the categories of husband and wife, and marital equality. Part II, "Parents and Kids," examines the perspectives of different actors in the family drama, concentrating on their various reactions to domestic challenges like teenagers' whereabouts, using the car, and gender socialization. Part III, "Rearrangements," deals with family change, including the process of divorce, remarriage, and stepparenting.

Table of Contents

    1. "I'm excited to be married, but...": Romance and Realism in Marriage, Emily Fairchild
    2. Making Sense of "Husbands" and "Wives", Autumn Behringer
    3. The Everyday Meaning of Marital Equality, Scott R. Harris
    4. Being a Good Parent, Rebecca L. Warner
    5. Keeping Tabs on Teenagers, Demie Kurz
    6. Kids, Cars, and Family Life, Amy L. Best
    7. Sissy Boy, Progressive Parents, Daniel Farr
    8. Couples Facing Divorce, Derek Ball and Peter Kivisto
    9. Children's Stories of Divorce, Susan Walzer
    10. Stepfathers and the Family Dance, William Marsiglio and Ramon Hinojosa