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The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society 13th Edition

Bryan Strong | Theodore F. Cohen

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THE MARRIAGE & FAMILY EXPERIENCE: INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS IN A CHANGING SOCIETY present a sociological and family studies base enhanced by perspectives from anthropology, history, psychology, journalism, literature, economics, and gender studies. It explores topics such as adoptive parenting, the transgender experience, childbearing patterns, gay and lesbian families, communication and conflict resolution, and the influence of popular culture. Real-life examples and a focus on self-assessment encourage students to think for themselves. This edition retains a progressive approach to diversity yet remains rooted in a pro-family perspective. Available with MindTap®, a digital learning solution.

Bryan Strong, University of California at Santz Cruz

Theodore F. Cohen, Ohio Wesleyan University

Theodore Cohen is the Ella Fulton Dunham Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Before coming to Ohio Wesleyan in 1984, he earned his B.A. in sociology from Brooklyn College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University. In addition to his teaching career at Ohio Wesleyan, Dr. Cohen has taught at a variety of public and private universities including Boston University, Northeastern University, Clark University, and Rowan University. Throughout these different educational contexts, he has found that enthusiasm, humor, and determination to engage students to apply sociological concepts to their own lives has worked with equal effectiveness in classes of nine or ninety. He brings those same objectives to his writing. In 1990, Dr. Cohen received The Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for the Encouragement of Teachers, one of two awards Ohio Wesleyan gives for teaching excellence. In addition to being the co-author of THE MARRIAGE AND FAMILY EXPERIENCE since its eighth edition, Dr. Cohen is the editor of MEN & MASCULINITY: A TEXT READER (Wadsworth 2001). He has also published articles and book chapters on aspects of men's lives, especially their transitions to marriage and fatherhood, and on the family and work lives of a sample of nontraditional couples. Dr. Cohen's own family experiences include many of the issues covered and addressed in this text. He has been married, widowed, in a long distance relationship, remarried, separated, and divorced. He has also been a father, stepfather, and caregiver.

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  • This is one of the few marriage and family books that offers a true balance between the two main branches of the market -- sociology and family science. It takes a liberal approach to detailing recent trends (in marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and singlehood), and to describing diverse lifestyles, especially regarding gender and sexuality, but remains firmly rooted in the positive, pro-family corner.
  • What Do You Think? Self-quiz chapter openers let students assess their existing knowledge of what will be discussed in the chapter. These quizzes engage students, drawing them into the material and stimulating greater interaction with the course.
  • Public Policies, Private Lives features focus on legal issues and public policies that affect how we think about and/or experience family life. Among them are features on sexting, adoptions that dissolve, the lack of legal policies about stepfamilies, the meaning of legal marriage, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and legal advice for cohabiting couples.
  • Exploring Diversity boxes let students see family circumstances from the vantage point of other cultures, other eras, or within different lifestyles in the contemporary United States. New topics in this edition include cohabitation in Japan, arranged marriage in the United Arab Emirates, and "father school" in South Korea. Other topics include divorce in India, the phenomenon of posthumous marriage, and a cross-national survey on dating violence.
  • Issues and Insights features focus on current and high-interest topics, including virginity loss; gender, sexuality, and bullying; "living apart together"; and whether or not to spank children. Several of these features discuss uses and abuses of technology in families and relationships.
  • Popular Culture boxes discuss the ways family issues are portrayed through various forms of popular culture. New topics include the way media portrayals of gay couples (e.g., "Modern Family") may have contributed to rising acceptance of same-sex marriage, and the increasing visibility of the transgender experience.
  • Real Families features give "up close" accounts of issues raised in the text as they are experienced by people in their everyday lives. Vignettes in this edition discuss blending and unblending families, co-parenting by gay men and lesbians, family caregivers, and recent stories that question the assumption of gender as binary.

The Marriage and Family Experience: Intimate Relationships in a Changing Society


1. The Meaning of Marriage and the Family.
2. Studying Marriages and Families.
3. Variations in American Family Life.
4. Gender and Family.
5. Intimacy, Friendship, and Love.
6. Understanding Sex and Sexualities.
7. Communication, Power, and Conflict.
8. Marriages in Societal and Individual Perspective.
9. Unmarried Lives: Singlehood and Cohabitation.
10. Becoming and Being Parents.
11. Marriage, Work, and Economics.
12. Intimate Violence and Sexual Abuse.
13. Coming Apart: Separation and Divorce.
14. New Beginnings: Single-Parent Families, Remarriages, and Blended Families.

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