Family and the State of Theory
University of Toronto Press, 1991 M01 1 - 213 páginas
Family studies play an increasintyy important role in contemporary sociology. David Cheal provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of modern socological theories about family life. While recognizing that these theories are both diverse and fragmented, he argues that such divisions are a positive and integral aspect of studying contemporary family theory.
Cheal takes a broad comparitive approach to the theories analysed, using empirical examples from North America, Europe, and Australia, and examining how old and new approaches interact with one another. He argues that it is possible to make sense of a contemporary family theory by analysing its divisions as the result of different experiences of modernity. These experiences lie along three axes: first, the opposition between social modernism and its anti-modernist critics; second, the ideological effects of contraditions within modernity itself, and third, the emerging differene between modernist idealism and post-modernist scepticism. Another major theme of the book is the profound impact of feminism on contemporary family studies, and how this has been the catalyst for so much rethinking of the subject in recent years.
By comparing a wide range of theories in this way and providing a conceptual framework to explain and encourage theoretical pluralism, David Cheal has produced a major new work for students and researchers of family sociology and social theory worldwide.