Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century  book cover
1st Edition

Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century

ISBN 9781138991569
Published August 4, 2016 by Routledge
248 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Explore the breakdown of the universal family form into new living arrangements and the political and social implications of how they influence the definition of family today!

Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century views families from a US perspective and from many different cultures and societies. You will examine the family as it has evolved from the 1950s traditional family to today’s family structures. The controversial question, “What is family?” is thoroughly examined as it has become an increasingly important social policy concern because of the recent change in the traditional family. Scholars and researchers in family studies and sociology will be intrigued by these thought-provoking articles that analyze the definition of the family from a multitude of perspectives.

Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century looks at family in terms of its social construction, variations and the diversity in families, among others. You will examine the negative implications of using the term “The Family” as it implies “The Nuclear Family,” which many powerful lobbies (politics, morality, religion) claim to support and revere. You will also explore family ideology and identity from many different social and cultural contexts. Some of the family issues you will explore in Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century include:

  • marrying, procreating, and divorcing in a traditional Jewish family
  • redefining western families by taking into consideration the legal factors, history, tradition and the continued expansion of the definition of family in the US
  • addressing family issues in Lithuania, a country amidst many political changes
  • challenging and complicating the definition of family with stepfamilies
  • exploring the question “What are families after divorce?”
  • examining multicultural motives for marriage and how these motives effect courting behavior in Lithuania
  • defining families through caregiving patterns

    Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century goes in-depth to broaden and interpret the meaning of family in today’s society. Through the exploration of legal implications, professional and personal needs this text takes into account the large variety of groups that have close living relationships. Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century will assist you in answering the difficult and complex question “What is family?”

Table of Contents


  • Introduction
  • Section I: Theoretical and Historical Approaches
  • What Is Family? Further Thoughts on a Social Constructionist Approach
  • We Must Not Define “The Family”!
  • The Family in Jewish Tradition
  • Redefining Western Families
  • Political Systems and Responsibility for Family Issues: The Case of Change in Lithuania
  • Section II: Family Members’ Perceptions of Family
  • Family as a Set of Dyads
  • What Phenomenon Is Family?
  • What Are Families After Divorce?
  • Trying to Become a Family; or, Parents Without Children
  • Lithuania: The Case of Young “Socialist” Families in the Context of Rapid Social Innovation
  • Section III: Families and Support Systems
  • Defining Families Through Caregiving Patterns
  • In-Laws and the Concept of Family
  • Negotiating Family: The Interface Between Family and Support Groups
  • The Process of Family Therapy: Defining Family as a Collaborative Enterprise
  • Definitions of the Family: Professional and Personal Issues
  • Index

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