Family Careers: Rethinking the Developmental Perspective

“Joan Aldous does not just give us an update of her influential 1978 version of Family Careers but provides us with a rethinking of the whole approach. As a result we have available to us a new version of the family development approach for students and researchers. Students will particularly delight in Professor Aldous's clear exposition of ideas and research.” --James M. White, Ph.D. University of British Columbia “This book lays out an agenda that may appear simple--but in reality is very complex--and then proceeds to do an extraordinarily good job of adhering to it…. Joan Aldous's personal examples and interview excerpts drawn from other sources are very good, adding some substance to the discussion that surrounds them. These are bound to be helpful for students.” --Duane W. Crawford, Texas Tech University A unique contribution to its field, Family Careers is the first volume to examine the expectable changes in today's families from the time the family is formed until it is dissolved. No other book covers the broad variety of families in contemporary society using a consistent theoretical approach. Joan Aldous presents the developmental approach to studying contemporary families in a clear and understandable fashion. First she presents the concepts that distinguish family development, then she compares those with other theoretical perspectives. Drawing from a diverse array of families, she gives the reader a comprehensive picture of the shifts in patterns of family interaction over time as they are influenced by their social contexts of work and school. Throughout the book there are quotations, comments, and excerpts from letters to illustrate the family lives of individuals as they actually live them. This thought-provoking volume is sure to stimulate discussion, and is highly recommended for graduate and undergraduate students in family development, advanced family theory classes, and advanced family and marriage classes.

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