Any agenda for family research in the 1990s must take seriously a contextual approach to the study of family relationships. The editors and contributors to this volume believe that the richness in family studies over the next decade will come from considering the diversity of family forms -- different ethnic groups and cultures, different stages of family life, as well as different historical cohorts. Their goal is to make more explicit how we think about families in order to study them and understand them. To illustrate the need for diversity in family studies, examples are presented from new and old families, majority and minority families, American and Japanese families, and intact and divorcing families. This variety is intended to push the limits of current thinking, not only for researchers but also for all who are struggling to live with and work with families in a time when family life is valued but fragmented and relatively unsupported by society's institutions. Students and researchers interested in family development from the viewpoint of any of the social sciences will find this book of value.
"…the volume is ambitious….offers some interesting and certainly wide-ranging perspectives on family research…"
"…contains a wealth of thought-provoking theoretical notions and empirical findings."
—The Journal of Marriage & the Family
Contents: Part I:Rethinking Our Conceptual Models. E. Aerts, Bringing the Institution Back In. A. Skolnick, Changes of Heart: Family Dynamics in Historical Perspective. D.A. Hansen, The Child in Family and School: Agency and the Workings of Time. L.M. Burton, C.B. Stack, Conscripting Kin: Reflections on Family, Generation, and Culture. G.A. De Vos, A Cross-Cultural Perspective: The Japanese Family as a Unit in Moral Socialization. P.S. Fass, Perspectives on Family Theory: Families in History and Beyond. A. Lawson, Perspectives on Family Theory: New Myths From Old. Part II:Rethinking Research on Nuclear Families. P.A. Cowan, C.P. Cowan, P.K. Kerig, Mothers, Fathers, Sons, and Daughters: Gender Differences in Family Formation and Parenting Style. J.R. Johnston, Family Transitions and Children's Functioning: The Case of Parental Conflict and Divorce. G.E. Swanson, The Structuring of Family Decision-Making: Personal and Societal Sources and Some Consequences for Children. M.J. Moorehouse, Work and Family Dynamics. S. Crockenberg, Perspectives on Research in the Early Years of Family Life: Costs and Benefits of Nontraditional Variations. Part III:Rethinking Research on Family Networks in Middle and Old Age. R. McCaslin, An Intergenerational Family Congruence Model. C.L. Johnson, The Prolongation of Life and the Extension of Family Relationships: The Families of the Oldest Old. D. Field, M. Minkler, The Importance of Family in Advanced Old Age: The Family is "Forever." L. Carstensen, Perspective on Research With Older Families: Contributions of Older Adults to Families and to Family Theory. Part IV:Case Studies: Their Role in Theory and Research. C.F. Settlage, D.H. Silver, J. Afterman, K. Hart, K. Nelson, Developmental Process: Mother-Child and Father-Child Interaction During the Second Year of Life. I.S. Bradburn, J.A. Kaplan, Continuity and Change in the Transition to Parenthood: A Tale of Two Families. J.A. Clausen, The Life and Family of Karl Schulz. N.J. Chodorow, Perspectives on the Use of Case Studies: All it Takes is One. Part V:Toward a New Agenda for Family Research. P.A. Cowan, D.A. Hansen, G.E. Swanson, D. Field, A. Skolnick, Issues in Defining a Research Agenda for the 1990s.