The Contemporary American Family: A Dialectical Perspective on Communication and Relationships recognizes that families are both close and distant, stable and changing, amenable and uncontrollable. Teresa Chandler Sabourin employs a dialectical approach, acknowledging that a family’s contradictions and relational tensions may be the determining factor in its interaction. Writing in a direct and simple style, Sabourin uses this innovative theoretical position to address four types of family diversity: structural, cultural, developmental, and functional. Designed as a supplemental text for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in Family Communication, The Contemporary American Family is also an invaluable resource for students in Family Studies and Women’s Studies courses.    

Cultural Diversity in the New American Family

Cultural diversity in the new American family

The increasingly diverse society in which families live is one that offers great richness as well as great confusion. Trying to maintain a dominant ideology through hegemonic practices, researchers and policymakers sometimes fail to address the diversity. “Images of the ‘Normal American Family’ are pervasive in the dominant culture” and are part of a public rhetoric “found in the discourse of politicians, social commentators, and moral leaders; in the tasks of everyday interactions; and in movies, television shows, and books” (Pyke, 2000, p. 241). Just as the nuclear structure has been held up as the normative standard, the culture of Euro-American, heterosexual, Christian families is often regarded as the norm (Allen & ...

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