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Family Theories Today

A Critical Intersectional Approach (Second Edition)
Katherine R. Allen and Angela C. Henderson
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The new edition of Katherine R. Allen and Angela C. Henderson’s Family Theories Today: A Critical Intersectional Approach expands on the dynamic, creative, and scientific approach that made the first edition a success. The authors include all types of family structures, processes, and contexts, and their approach is informed by families as intimate settings for individual and relational development where both care and trauma occur. Full of examples grounded in real people’s lives, the book covers twelve theories—ranging from Functionalist to Social Exchange to Feminist to Family Stress and Resilience—in a highly accessible but comprehensive way. Each chapter covers the theory’s historic origins, major concepts, strengths and weaknesses, alternative perspectives, application to empirical research and practice, relevant pop culture examples, multimedia applications, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and more.

New highlights of this completely up-to-date and revised edition include two new chapters on topics that have gained increasing relevance: Critical Race Theory and Queer Theory; strengthened research and application about family diversity in each chapter; fresh multimedia suggestions; voices from lived experience; and more extensive outreach to a broader array of relevant disciplines.

This text is not only meant to be read but also to provoke both personal reflection and professional considerations for both family scientists in training and those in the human services in general.

Katherine R. Allen is Professor Emerita of Human Development and Family Science at Virginia Tech. She is the incoming editor of Journal of Family Theory & Review. A recipient of the Ernest Burgess Award and the Alexis Walker Award, both given for lifetime achievement in scholarly contributions to family science, she studies marginalization, vulnerability, and reflexivity over the family life course using feminist, intersectional, and qualitative approaches.
Angela C. Henderson is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Northern Colorado, and co-founder of The Avery Center for Research & Services. She has been recognized with UNC’s “Excellence in College Teaching” award and featured in Elle magazine for her impact on students in and outside the classroom.
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“This is an exceptionally readable primer on family theories. Students will enjoy applying these theories to their own life, pop culture, and in practice.”
Erika L. Grafsky, PhD, Virginia Tech

“One of my favorite features of this textbook is its rich use of case examples to make reading the material enjoyable, interesting and relatable. Many students would identify with the case studies. This textbook provides a thorough description of numerous theories related to families. It is also a practical resource to help students learn to apply theories to practice.”
Johanna Slivinske, Youngstown State University

“A reader-friendly approach to the introduction and application of family theories.”
Mary Langenbrunner, PhD, East Tennessee State University

“Allen and Henderson have produced an accessible volume that is very engaging for students and really promotes their learning.”
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Purdue University