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`This is a wide-ranging and authoritative analysis of sociology's 'state-of-the-art'. It will set the terms of debate for the next decade' - John Urry, Lancaster University, U.K.`The profession of sociology was blessed by abundance of excellent handbooks. The one edited by Craig Calhoun, Christ Rojek and Bryan Turner was preceded by outstanding sociology handbooks, the most eminent ones by Robert Farris and E Lee published in 1964 and a more recent one by Neil Smelser in1988. The volume by Farris and Lee not only served as an introductory text to the discipline, but contained many innovative papers, which re-oriented social research for years to come. Smelser brought together the best possible and most polished overview of the contributions professional sociology at his time. The Calhoun-Rojek-Turner ...

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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