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.

Conclusion: Theories as Tools for Studying Families

Conclusion: Theories as tools for studying families

What has been achieved in this book? Are we any closer to understanding how we produce credible knowledge and the way in which theories of family are advancing our knowledge? I think the answer is that a great deal has been achieved. In order to understand how far we have come, it is useful to briefly review the journey.

Chapter 1 introduced a definition of theory and discussed why we need theories about families rather than theories about the more generic social group. In Chapter 2, we reviewed the history of family theory. It was in this second chapter that we encountered the theory constructionists of the 1960s and 1970s. Although this movement ...

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