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The Sociology of the Family
The sociology of the family
Introduction: Issues in the Contemporary Sociology of the Family

The family, which is employed in this chapter as an umbrella term to cover the more general discussion of familial institutions, kinship relations, household structures, intimate couples and friendship networks, is a fundamental institution of all human societies. For reasons that are to be explored, the family is difficult to define. In the twentieth century, there have been profound changes in marriage, family structures, divorce, love and intimacy. It is difficult to use the word ‘family’ to cover such a diverse collection of social relationships and institutions. There is the further complication that, through much of the previous century, the sociology of the family and marriage was not ...

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