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.

Theory, Models, and Metaphors

Theory, models, and metaphors

This chapter is devoted to an examination of theory and theoretical method in the study of the family. It addresses many of the details about explanation, logical form, and propositional statements left unaddressed in the previous chapter. However, the structure of this chapter needs a little explanation.

This chapter begins with a discussion of models and metaphors based on and extending the work by Black (1962). The principal reason for beginning with this is that I believe the key to understanding theory and its diverse functions in family studies is to view it through the bifocal lens of models and metaphors. Recall that in Chapter 1 of this book I agreed with Turner's assessment that the theory constructionists of ...

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