"I don't know how often I've wished for an introductory text on family life which encompassed critical contemporary sociological thinking alongside the basic information students need, and have only found fossilised thinking on a stodgy subject. But now all that has changed. McKie and Callan have achieved what I thought was almost impossible in Understanding Families - a textbook which provides unrivalled foundations for a critical understanding of contemporary families and relationships."
- Carol Smart, The Morgan Centre, University of Manchester
"This excellent, innovative, comprehensive and easy to read text should be essential reading for everyone keen to understand families across the globe... It will make an outstanding contribution to family studies and is highly recommended."
- Janet Walker, Newcastle University
"Easy to read text, which debates current thinking surrounding modern families. Case studies and questions for the reader throughout the text help traslate theory into practice."
- Justine Gallagher, Northumbria University
Written by experts in family studies and family policy, this clear, engaging book adopts a global perspective to usefully examine how modern families can be explored and understood in research, policy and practice.
Packed with critical pedagogy, including case-studies, think points, key words and a glossary, it guides students through topics such as relationships, sexualities and paid and unpaid work, continually returning to its central themes of process and structure. The book also:
- Applies key social theories to contemporary analysis
- Examines key studies on researching families and family life
- Explores the role of government policies and practices
This comprehensive introduction to the study of families and relationships is a timely resource for students and lecturers working across the social sciences, particularly students of family studies, the sociology of the family, family policy, and social work and the family
Linda McKie is Professor of Sociology, Glasgow Caledonian University; Samantha Callan is based at the Centre for Social Justice. They are both affiliated to the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships at the University of Edinburgh.