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Family PerspectivesEdited by Valerian DeSousa and Sharon Anderson

Family Perspectives

Past, Present, and Future (First Edition)
Edited by Valerian DeSousa and Sharon Anderson

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60927-036-0, 394 pages


Researchers and policy makers have typically approached the family as a closed unit, and assumed that this unit can be understood effectively outside of the context in which it appears. In contrast, the anthology Family Perspectives: Past, Present, and Future, offers a sociological approach to the examination of the family unit. The family unit has existed in various forms in all known human societies, and it is arguably one of the most important social institutions. The book shows readers how to think about families in context, meaning within the larger social structure. This structure shapes and influences the forms that families take, and the processes and dynamics that drive them.

Family Perspectives is divided into eight sections:

  • Families in a historical context
  • Race, class, and gender in structuring families
  • Work and family life
  • Sexuality and intimacy
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Parenting and childhood
  • Domestic violence
  • Globalization, transnationalism, and families in the twentieth century

The selected reading passages address topics as diverse as the transition from the pre-modern to the modern family, to an examination of sexuality from global and historical perspectives. The articles present balanced views of challenging topics such as the myths and realities of abusive relationships.

Family Perspectives helps readers successfully understand the debate that has surrounded changes in the way families are thought of. It gives them the information needed to develop an informed and thoughtful perspective based on scientifically researched studies and careful, considered analysis.

Valerian DeSousa, assistant professor of sociology at West Chester University, completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. His area of teaching includes family, social stratification, race and ethnicity relations, and modern India. He is presently engaged in research on transnational migrants in Southern Europe.
Sharon Anderson, West Chester University, received her Ph.D. in family studies from the University of Delaware. Currently, she is working on two manuscripts that address intergenerational religious values and behaviors of mothers and adolescents and a methodological instrument to measure religious values and behaviors. She has a passion for teaching and thoroughly enjoys interacting with students. In addition to her professional responsibilities, she works with people in urban settings who are facing difficult personal and social situations, helping them to develop skills that will enable them to make positive life choices.