Family theories – an introduction
Offering students both an understanding of what family theory is and a survey of six major theoretical frameworks developed by key social scientists to explain patterns of family life, this book is an ideal introductory textbook in family studies. The authors begin with a discussion of the purpose of theory and trace the history of theoretical explanations of the family. They then go on to present the six theoretical frameworks: exchange-utilitarian, symbolic-interaction, family developmental, systems, conflict and ecological. Each theory is systematically explored through its historical perspective, basic assumptions, core concepts, variations, empirical applications, implications for intervention, and a critique of its weaknesses. Concluding with a typology for analyzing and comparing the six theories, the authors provide directions for future theory development.
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