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Marriages, Families, and Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society 13th Edition

Mary Ann Lamanna | Agnes Riedmann | Susan D. Stewart

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MARRIAGES, FAMILIES, AND RELATIONSHIPS combines a rigorous scholarly and applied approach with a theme especially relevant to today's dynamic global environment: making choices in a diverse society. The authors offers insightful perspectives on the diversity of our modern society, including different ethnic traditions and family forms. The balanced presentation discusses multiple theoretical perspectives (e.g., family ecology, structure-functional, interaction-constructionist, family systems, biosocial), emphasizing both social structure and the importance of individual agency, choice, and decision-making. Students are encouraged to question assumptions and reconcile conflicting ideas and values as they make informed choices in their own lives.

Mary Ann Lamanna, Emeritus, University of Nebraska, Omaha

Mary Ann Lamanna is Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She received her bachelor's degree Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University (St. Louis) in political science, her master's degree in sociology (minor in psychology) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her doctorate in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of EMILE DURKHEIM ON THE FAMILY (Sage, 2002) and co-author of a book on Vietnamese refugees. She has published numerous articles in law, sociology, and medical humanities journals. Research and teaching interests include family, reproduction, and gender and law. Other research has concerned the sociology of literature, specifically "novels of terrorism," and a sociological analysis of Marcel Proust's novel IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME.

Agnes Riedmann, California State University, Stanislaus

Agnes Riedmann is Professor of Sociology at California State University, Stanislaus. She attended Clarke College, Dubuque. She received her bachelor's degree from Creighton University and her doctorate from the University of Nebraska. Her professional areas of interest are theory, family, and the sociology of body image. She is author of SCIENCE THAT COLONIZES: A CRITIQUE OF FERTILITY STUDIES IN AFRICA (Temple University Press, 1993). Dr. Riedmann spent academic year 2008-09 as a Fulbright Professor at the Graduate School for Social Research, affiliated with the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, where she taught courses in family, as well as in social policy and in globalization.

Susan D. Stewart, Iowa State University

Susan D. Stewart is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University. She received her doctorate in sociology from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Stewart's professional areas of interest are gender, family, and demography and specifically how complex living arrangements affect the physical and emotional health of adults and children. Dr. Stewart is the author of BRAVE NEW STEPFAMILIES and just completed a new book, CO-SLEEPING IN FAMILIES. Her research has been supported by grants from the NICHD, USDA, Joint Center for Poverty Research, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has published papers on a diverse range of topics, including child and adolescent obesity, eating habits, nutrition, fertility intentions and behavior, child support and visitation, stepchild adoption, and women's financial literacy.

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  • The book consistently presents the latest research and statistics.
  • A thematic organization focuses on making choices over the life course.
  • The balanced presentation emphasizes both social structure and the importance of individual agency, choice, and decision-making.
  • Topics are presented in a logical sequence that allows students to build steadily on their growing understanding of course material.
  • "As We Make Choices" features throughout the text highlight the theme of making choices, emphasizing human agency and helping students work through crucial decisions. Topics include Sexting -- Five Things To Think about Before Pressing "Send," Selecting a Child Care Facility, Domination and Submission in Couple Communication Patterns, Tips for Step-Grandparents, and Some Things to Know About the Legal Side of Living Together.
  • "A Closer Look at Diversity" features give focused attention to instances of family diversity -- for example, African Americans and "Jumping the Broom," Hetero-Gay Families, Immigration and Family Ties, and Straight Parents and LGBT Children, among others.
  • "Issues for Thought" features are designed to spark students' critical thinking and discussion. As an example, the box in Chapter 11 on Digital Communication and the Rise of Social Media explores the implications of this trend for families and relationships. Chapter 16 explores Filial Responsibility Laws and encourages students to consider what might be the benefits and drawbacks of legally mandating filial responsibility.
  • "Facts About Families" features present demographic and other factual information on focused topics such as How Family Researchers Study Religion from Various Theoretical Perspectives (Chapter 2), Foster Parenting (Chapter 9), and Major Sources of Family-Violence Data (Chapter 12), among others.

Marriages, Families, and Relationships: Making Choices in a Diverse Society


1. Making Family Choices in a Changing Society.
2. Exploring Relationships and Families.
3. Gendered Identities and Families.
4. Our Sexual Selves.
5. Love and Choosing a Life Partner.
6. Nonmarital Lifestyles: Living Alone, Cohabiting, and Other Options.
7. Marriage: From Social Institution to Private Relationship.
8. Deciding About Parenthood.
9. Raising Children in a Diverse Society.
10. Work and Family.
11. Communication in Relationships, Marriages, and Families.
12. Power and Violence in Families.
13. Family Stress, Crisis, and Resilience.
14. Divorce and Relationship Dissolution.
15. Remarriages and Stepfamilies.
16. Aging and Multigenerational Families.

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