This is a lively and comprehensive introduction to the sociology of the family, which explores controversies, contradictions and broad patterns that characterise contemporary relationships and families. The authors write in an accessible and engaging style that will appeal to students and all of the key elements in the life course are covered - childhood, youth, partnering, parenting and ageing, and both the positive and negative sides of family life including intimacy and violence. One of the great strengths of the book is its consideration of diversity and the factors contributing to the reshaping of families, including discussion of new technologies and social mobility developments. Contemporary examples are included throughout the book, together with critical questions.
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