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Family Theories and Methods

A Contextual Approach
  • William J. Doherty
  • Pauline G. Boss
  • Ralph LaRossa
  • Walter R. Schumm
  • Suzanne K. Steinmetz

Abstract

This introductory chapter to the Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methods deals with the sociocultural and historical contexts of family theories and methods as they have developed in the twentieth century. It also addresses the issues of what theory is, what are the bases for evaluating family theory, what are the goals of family theory, and how family scholars have shifted their understandings of the nature of family theory and the research methods used to validate it. As reflected in the quotes above from philosopher Alasdaire MacIntyre and sociologists Mirra Komarovsky and Willard Waller, these questions are simultaneously about social science theory; methodology; application in the realms of education, clinical practice, and public policy; and the social and moral dilemmas of our time.

Keywords

Family Therapy Family Study American Family Feminist Theory Marital Quality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. Doherty
    • 1
  • Pauline G. Boss
    • 1
  • Ralph LaRossa
    • 2
  • Walter R. Schumm
    • 3
  • Suzanne K. Steinmetz
    • 4
  1. 1.Family Social Science DepartmentUniversity of MinnesotaSt. Paul
  2. 2.Department of SociologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlanta
  3. 3.Human Development and Family StudiesKansas State UniversityManhattan
  4. 4.Department of SociologyIndiana UniversityIndianapolis

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