This nonjudgmental, inclusive, and far-reaching text focuses on the diverse patterns of family structure prevalent in our society today. Family Diversity presents empirical research on the internal dynamics, social environments, support factors, prevalence of discrimination, and common stereotypes that account for the issues surrounding current family relations. By examining the history and nature of foster and adoptive, single-parent, lesbian/gay, step- and grandparent family units, Pauline Irit Erera is able to challenge both the idealized family prototype and the hegemony of the traditional structure. 

Unraveling the Family: What We Can Learn from Family Diversity

Unraveling the family: What we can learn from family diversity

As the experience of each family in this book demonstrates, nontraditional families pay a price for being different. The privileged status of the one “right” family—first-married, heterosexual—persists despite it being just one of a number of diverse family forms. It is marketed as the desirable family, the template and default model (Laird, 1993). As a result, families that are different may feel marginalized and vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination. Some, such as single mothers, are subject to moral regulation through punitive public policies.

Family structure has become a central issue in social policy discourse. Conservatives attribute any number of social ills, including the creation of an underclass, ...

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