• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Advancing Family Theories explores two contemporary theories of the family - rational choice theory and transition theory. These diametrically different approaches illuminate what differing theories reveal about families. The book also discusses how meta-theories can assist in building and refining theory and offers insight on the "understanding versus explanation" debate. Advancing Family Theories gives students a precise notion of what a theory is and how theories work in research. The book not only looks at philosophical realms but also examines particular substantive theory to explain and predict family behaviors.Advancing Family Theories Family Theories, Second Edition (SAGE, 2002), or is effective on its own. The book helps students with the task of taking abstract and very general theories and reducing them to a level of specific research models and hypotheses.


The title of this book, Advancing Family Theories, contains a quite intentional double entendre or complex metaphor. On the one hand, this book intends to advance family theory, to push it ahead of where it is today. Part of this project entails explaining where we are today, how we got here, and why the perspectives I propose might move us forward. This means we must look at the history and current practice of family theory. We must gain a good understanding of how and why theory works. The first section of this book deals with these issues.

On the other hand, Advancing Family Theories also means placing before you a product I am advancing or promulgating. The second section of this book does exactly that. ...

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