Understanding Families

A Global Introduction

by Linda McKie, Samantha Callan

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1446254232
  • 9781847879318
  • 9781446254233
  • 9781446291825

"I don't know how often I've wished for an introductory text on family life which encompassed critical contemporary sociological thinking alongside the basic information students need, and have only found fossilised thinking on a stodgy subject. But now all that has changed. McKie and Callan have achieved what I thought was almost impossible in Understanding Families - a textbook which provides unrivalled foundations for a critical understanding of contemporary families and relationships."
- Carol Smart
, The Morgan Centre, University of Manchester


"This excellent, innovative, comprehensive and easy to read text should be essential reading for everyone keen to understand families across the globe... It will make an outstanding contribution to family studies and is highly recommended."
- Janet Walker, Newcastle University


"Easy to read text, which debates current thinking surrounding modern families. Case studies and questions for the reader throughout the text help traslate theory into practice."
- Justine Gallagher, Northumbria University

Families are the core building blocks of society. Our experience of them affects many aspects of our everyday lives shaping our expectations and future plans.

Written by experts in family studies and family policy, this clear, engaging book adopts a global perspective to usefully examine how modern families can be explored and understood in research, policy and practice.

Packed with critical pedagogy, including case-studies, think points, key words and a glossary, it guides students through topics such as relationships, sexualities and paid and unpaid work, continually returning to its central themes of process and structure. The book also:

  • Applies key social theories to contemporary analysis
  • Examines key studies on researching families and family life
  • Explores the role of government policies and practices

This comprehensive introduction to the study of families and relationships is a timely resource for students and lecturers working across the social sciences, particularly students of family studies, the sociology of the family, family policy, and social work and the family

Linda McKie is Professor of Sociology, Glasgow Caledonian University; Samantha Callan is based at the Centre for Social Justice. They are both affiliated to the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh.

 


  • SAGE Publications; December 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446254233
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Understanding Families
  • Author: Linda McKie; Samantha Callan
  • Imprint: SAGE Publications Ltd
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1446254232
  • 9781847879318
  • 9781446254233
  • 9781446291825

In The Press

This excellent, innovative, comprehensive and easy to read text should be essential reading for everyone keen to understand families across the globe. It addresses key questions, carefully blends policy concerns, research issues and theoretical debates, points to further reading and includes a very helpful glossary. It will make an outstanding contribution to family studies and is highly recommended
Janet Walker
Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University


This is a clearly written, well organized, and highly digestible overview of the sociology of the family. It covers major themes and issues, including important changes over time in behavior as well as the ideas used to understand patterns of behavior and structure. The authors manage to include a strong international perspective while highlighting many specific examples and trends in the UK and across Europe. What I appreciate so much about this book is that it is to the point and not overburdened by a tedious amount of detail or nuances of the type that can so easily mire and demoralize readers who are trying to capture the essential features in the study of the family. I highly recommend this book for serious students who want to efficiently capture the gist of this thing called family
Scott M. Stanley
Research Professor and Co Director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies, University of Denver, USA


I don't know how often I've wished for an introductory text on family life which encompassed critical contemporary sociological thinking alongside the basic information students need, and have only found fossilised thinking on a stodgy subject. But now all that has changed. McKie and Callan have achieved what I thought was almost impossible in Understanding Families; this is a textbook which provides unrivalled foundations for a critical understanding of contemporary families and relationships
Carol Smart
Professor of Sociology, The Morgan Centre, University of Manchester