Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.

Family Forms

Family forms


‘Family forms’ concerns the variety of patterned, or structured, ways in which people live and relate together as family members, sometimes raising technical issues of how to describe individuals' relationships to each other.


Family forms are mapped by academics and policy makers, using specialist terms that may or may not correspond to how family members themselves feel about their particular families. People are more likely to think in individual terms of the various family members they know and relate to. Over time, however, the specialist terms of academics may become part of people's accustomed language, particularly when family change has become an aspect of media, public and policy debates. The differences between nuclear families and step-families, for example, are now widely understood by ...

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