Families with Futures : Family Studies into the 21st Century, Second Edition book cover
2nd Edition

Families with Futures
Family Studies into the 21st Century, Second Edition

ISBN 9780415885904
Published February 9, 2012 by Routledge
424 Pages

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Book Description

Noted for its interdisciplinary approach to family studies, Families with Futures provides an engaging, contemporary look at the discipline's theories, methods, essential topics, and career opportunities. Featuring strong coverage of theories and methods, readers explore family concepts and processes through a positive prism. Concepts are brought to life through striking examples from everyday family life and cutting-edge scholarship. Throughout, families are viewed as challenged but resilient.

Each chapter opens with a preview of the chapter content and concludes with key terms and varied learning activities that promote critical thinking. The activities include provocative questions and exercises, projects, and interactive web activities. Boxes feature authentic voices from scholars and practitioners (including CFLEs) from a variety of disciplines including family studies, sociology, psychology, and more.  These boxes provide a firsthand look at what it is like to work in the field. The book concludes with a glossary defining each chapter’s boldfaced key terms.

Updated throughout, the new edition features new coverage of:

  • The latest family theories including feminist theory and postmodernism
  • Immigrant and transnational families in the 21st century
  • Physiology, psychology, and sociology of intimacy and sexuality
  • Effects of recent health and other policy decisions on families
  • Care giving in families, especially in later life
  • Family finances, with an emphasis on the recent economic downturns
  • Career opportunities in family studies.

The new Instructor’s Resource website features test questions, PowerPoint slides, chapter outlines, news bulletins of current events, hotlinks to helpful tools such as the NCFR’s Ethical Principles and Guidelines, and more.

This is an ideal text for upper-level undergraduate and lower-level graduate courses in family studies, family ecology, and family science offered in departments of family and consumer sciences, human development, psychology, and sociology.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Art and Science of Family Studies. 1. The Changing World of Families. 2. Family Scholarship in Action: Theories, Methods and Ethics. Part 2. From Risk to Resilience. 3. Risk and Resilience: Families at Their Best. 4. Family Health: Beyond Illness and Disease. 5. Sexual Intimacy: Biology and Pleasure. Part 3. Family Life Courses. 6. Early Trajectories: Being Single, Choosing Partners. 7. The New Conjugal: Marriage, but Also Civil Unions. 8. Kith and Kin: Creating Families in Communities. 9. Family Discord: Power, Conflict, and Violence. 10. Decoupled Families: Deserted, Separated, Divorced, and Widowed. 11. Money Matters: Economies and Family Lives. Part 4. Into the Future. 12. From Family Values to Valuing Families.

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Meg Wilkes Karraker is Professor of Sociology, Family Studies, and Women’s Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. In addition to co-authoring Families with Futures, Dr. Karraker is the author of the highly successful text Global Families (2008). A former Executive Officer of Sociologists for Women in Society, and a member of the American Sociological Association's Department Resources Group which consults with sociology faculty and programs around the country, in 2005 she was honored as the Aquinas Scholars Professor of the Year. Her research examines social networks among civic, religious, and other organizations serving migrant women, children, and their families.  Dr. Karraker teaches undergraduate courses in families and family studies, sociological theory, gender, and adolescence.

Janet R. Grochowski is the Marie and Robert Jackson Endowed Professor and Chair of Education at the College of Saint Benedict - Saint John’s University in Minnesota.  She received two doctoral degrees from the University of Minnesota, one in Family Social Science and Health Education Studies and the other in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Learning with an emphasis in resilience. Her research focuses on the family and health studies with special interest in youth and family resilience, global education, and determinants of family health.


“Families with Futures is a truly innovative textbook about family relationships and change. The content is timely, the stories are relevant, and the writing is engaging. The authors expertly blend cutting-edge theory, research, and practice in ways that will delight both students and instructors.” - Katherine R. Allen, Virginia Tech, USA

“Families with Futures, 2nd edition, captures the diversity across and the complexity within family systems in a way that is both accessible and authentic for undergraduate students of family science.” - Catherine Solheim, University of Minnesota, USA

“Karraker & Grochowski combine strong academic knowledge with practical orientation in an outstanding way. In clear and straightforward language, specially addressed for students and professionals, the book provides the most current research on key family topics. This second edition covers, together with traditional issues of interest, emerging and increasingly more frequent new family realities and dilemmas.” - Gerardo Meil, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

“The authors have crafted an engaging and intricate introduction to the field of family science. By centering the diversity and intersectionality of family experiences in socio-political context, the authors skillfully guide readers through research and practice to show that families are knowable in their complexity and that healthy family life has many pathways.” - Tara Saathoff-Wells, University of Central Florida, USA

“This is the ONLY text for family studies that I have found to be comprehensive and provide both research and application of material for students. ... We are currently using the text for [our] ... Family Theories [course]. ... [I would adopt it] without any reservations! It is an excellent text and is needed in the family field!” - Mary Ann Adams, The University of Southern Mississippi, USA

Support Material

Companion Website

Please visit our companion website for additional support materials.