• 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.

Functions and Types of Theory
Functions and types of theory

In the introduction to this book I partially addressed the “so what?” question. One of the biggest problems I perceive in family theory is that researchers do not amply appreciate what theory does for them, for the field, and for knowledge in general. There is the mistaken perspective tied to empiricism that facts speak for themselves. But as we have seen, facts are theoretical constructs. Furthermore, I believe there is some misunderstanding of the functions of theory because the metaphorical foundations of explanation and interpretation have been deemphasized. White and Klein (2002) list seven distinct functions that theories serve in the social sciences. Although I will follow the list offered by White and Klein, I must ...

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