Synopses & Reviews
The changing nature of the family is a topic of intense public concern. It also has been the focus of research in sociology and related disciplines for many years.
Family Connections is a major new introduction to the study of the family, written by one of the leading scholars in the field. Morgan shows that the study of the family is not a peripheral concern of sociology but rather lies at the heart of sociological theory and research.
Family Connections takes the reader through the established debates, such as the relation between family life and the world of work and employment, the impact of class and stratification on the family, and the relevance of gender. Morgan then examines some newer areas of social inquiry, including the sociology of the body, time and space, food, and the home. The relevance of the family to more general topics of sociological theory such as postmodernity, citizenship, consumption and risk are all discussed.The emphasis throughout is on family relationships as processes which are fluid, complex and open to change.
This timely, wide-ranging and innovative book will be of great interest to students and scholars in family studies, sociology, and gender and women's studies.
'Anyone seeking an understanding of what empirical sociology has achieved in Britain over the past twenty years could well start with this book. David Morgan skilfully weaves an original tapestry of British life based on such themes as food, home and the body, as well as the more traditional themes of class and work. He does this from a distinctive family perspective but this is more than simply another book about the family: it is an unusual way of approaching British Society as a whole.' Ray Pahl, University of Kent, Canterbury
'Morgan's comprehensive, judicious account of developments in the sociology of the family should be on every lecturer's and student's bookshelf.' Chris Harris, University College of Swansea
'David Morgan ... is one of leading scholars in the field of the sociology of the family. Family Connections is well structured and its themes are easy to follow. Morgan's knowledge of this field is impressive, and the book offers an excellent overview of how family matters are woven into a multitude of areas in social life. The book is highly informative and reflects the state of the art in today's family sociology.' Acta Sociologica
'Well-researched text ... Morgan writes well; the density of the material presented has been made very readable. For someone wanting a look at the latest in the social analysis of how families are defined at the political level, the social function of the family and the individuals within them it offers a variety of informed ideas with references to the relevant literature.' Journal of Paediatrics of Health Care
“This brilliant book provides a wealth of insights that make it essential reading for academics and students across the social sciences, and for policy makers and practitioners.”
“A wealth of insightful essays, the book is filled with careful reflection of the process of change . . . in the everyday lives of children and young people.”
As the everyday lives of children and young people are increasingly understood as matters of public policy and concern, the question of how we can understand the difference between normal” family troubles and troubled or troubling families has become more important. In this timely and thought-provoking book, a wide range of contributors address topics such as infant care, sibling conflict, divorce, disability, illness, substance abuse, violence, kinship care, and forced marriage, in an effort to explore how the concept of trouble features in normal families and how the concept of normal features in troubled families.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -214) and index.
About the Author
Jane Ribbens McCarthy is reader in family studies at the Centre for Citizenship, Identities, and Governance at the Open University.Carol-Ann Hooper is senior lecturer in social policy at the University of York.
Table of Contents
Notes on contributors
1. Troubling normalities and normal family troubles: diversities, experiences and tensions
Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Carol-Ann Hooper and Val Gillies
Part One: Approaching Family Troubles? Contexts and Methodologies
Introduction to Part One
Janet Ribbens McCarthy
2. Cultural context, families and troubles
3. Representing family troubles through the 20th century
4. The role of science in understanding family troubles
5. Family troubles, methods trouble: qualitative research and the methodological divide
Part Two: Whose Trouble? Contested Definitions and Practices
Introduction to Part Two
6. Disabled parents and normative family life: the obscuring of lived experiences of parents and children within policy and research accounts
Harriet Clarke and Linsday O'Dell
7. Normal problems or problem children? Parents and the micro-politics of deviance and disability
8. Troubled talk and talk about troubles: moral cultures of infant feeding in professional, policy and parenting discourses
9. Children's non-conforming behaviour: personal trouble or public issue?
10. Revealing the lived reality of kinship care through children and young people's narratives: "It's not all nice, it's not all easy-going, it's a difficult journey to go on"
Part Three: The Normal, the Troubling and the Harmful?
Introduction to Part Three
11. Troubling loss? Children's experiences of major disruptions in family life
Lynn Jamieson and Gill Highet
12. The permeating presence of past domestic and familial violence: "So like I'd never let anyone hit me but I've hit them, and I shouldn't have done"
13. Thinking about sociological work on personal and family life in the light of research on young people's experience of parental substance misuse
14. The trouble with siblings: some psychosocial thoughts about sisters, aggression and femininity
15. Children and family transitions: contact and togetherness
Part Four: Troubles and Transitions across Space and Culture
Introduction to Part Four
Jane Ribbens McCarthy
16. 'Troubling' or 'ordinary'? Children's views on migration and intergenerational ethnic identities
17. Colombian families dealing with parents' international migration
Maria Claudia Duque-Páramo
18. Families left behind: unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in the UK
Elaine Chase and June Statham
19. Young peoples caring relations and transitions within families affected by HIV
20. Estimating the prevalence of forced marriage in England
Peter Keogh, Anne Kazimirski, Susan Purdon and Ruth Maisey
Part Five: Working with Families
Introduction to Part Five
21. European perspectives on parenting and family support
22. What supports resilient coping among family members? A systemic practitioners perspective
23. Troubled and troublesome teens: mothers and professionals understandings of parenting teenagers and teenage troubles
Harriet Churchill and Karen Clarke
24. Contested family practices and moral reasoning: updating concepts for working with family-related social problems
25. Working with fathers: risk or resource?
26. What is at stake in family troubles? Existential issues and value frameworks
Jane Ribbens McCarthy