The book will serve as a good source of information for sociological students and researchers as it discusses manifold issues pertinent to their field of study. The first chapter ‘Family commitments: making choices in a changing society’ has great relevance in the current day global perspectives on marriage and family. The second chapter ‘American families in a social context’ narrows the topic into American trends in family life and childrearing.
J. M. White’s article ‘The current status of theorizing about families’ explores the topic ‘to what extent theories are applied by researchers and therapists when it comes to issues related to marriage and family’. The writer brilliantly makes use of a wide pool of recent literature to support his research. He deploys social science theory throughout the chapter while at the same time discussing the philosophy of social science in an extensive manner. It begins with the discussion of how researchers disagree on the concept of acquisition of knowledge and what the term ‘explanation’ indicates. The article further vehemently discusses the basic problems in social science theory and the basic concepts in theory. An important part of the article is the ‘insights’ which gives a serious discussion on ‘marital relationships and marital status, marital quality and marital stability, and marital exchange and divorce. Although its terse prose affects the readability of the chapter, its rich content and systematic presentation make it a relevant source of knowledge.
Abigail Ocobock’s research paper ‘The Power and Limits of Marriage: Married Gay Mens Family Relationships’ throws light on some unseen aspects of same sex marriage giving particular attention to the marriage experience of the couples concerned. The writer explores the ‘potential’ of such marriages relying on extensive interviews with 32 legally married gay men in Iowa. The study proves
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