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The Current Status of Theorizing About Families

  • James M. White

Abstract

This chapter reviews the broader and intellectually problematic context of our theoretical knowledge about families by examining the goals of producing both explanation and knowledge. Theory is defined within this broader context. A review of theoretical framework useful to the study of families includes rational choice and exchange, life course and family development, symbolic interaction, ecological and system theories, and conflict and feminist theories. To demonstrate theoretical insight in the study of the family, the specific area of marital relationships and marital stability is examined. Methodological advances in constructing theories such as multilevel propositions, hierarchical theory and modeling, and optimal matching are discussed. The conclusion of the chapter assesses the current status of theorizing about families and offers a more optimistic appraisal than some previous scholars.

Keywords

Rational Choice Scientific Explanation Feminist Theory Knowledge Claim 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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© Springer Science+Business Media New York  2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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