Taking an historical, cross-cultural, and global approach, this book focuses on the link between social structure and the everyday lives of people's diverse experiences of marriages, families, and intimate relationships. It shows how contemporary families go well beyond the traditional, heterosexual, two-parent, white, middle class family and heterosexual legally-sanctioned marriage; challenges the assumption that one culture's way of doing things is the “natural” or “right” way; shows how marriage and family life have changed historically over time and from place to place; and how political and economic globalization impacts families worldwide. Features extensive boxed material accompanied by questions for personal reflection. Marriages and Families Over Time. Ways of Studying and Explaining Marriages and Families. Understanding Gender: Its Influence In Intimate Relationships. The Many Faces of Love. Dating, Coupling, and Mate Selection. Sexuality and Intimate Relationships. Nonmarital Lifestyles. The Marriage Experience. Reproduction and Parenting. Evolving Work and Family Structures. Violence and Abuse. The Process of Uncoupling: Divorce in the United States. Remarriage and Remarried Families. Families in Later Life. Marriages and Families in the Twenty-first Century: U.S. and World Trends. For anyone interested in marriage and family dynamics, including individuals, counselors, nurses, social workers, home economists, etc.
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This text challenges students to become involved in a direct way in examining their personal belief systems and societal views of the many diverse forms that marriages and families have taken in the past and their evolution in the present. The authors use a broad, inclusive approach, focusing on the link between social structure and their personal experiences of marriages, families, and intimate relationships.About the Author:
Dr. Mary Ann Schwartz has been married over 25 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and History from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her Master's Degree in Sociology from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and her Doctorate in Sociology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Women's Studies and former Chair of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University, where she co-founded and was actively involved in the Women's Studies Program. She also served as a faculty consultant to the Network for the Dissemination of Curriculum Infusion, an organization that presents workshops nationally on how to integrate substance abuse prevention strategies into the college curriculum.
Throughout her educational experiences, Professor Schwartz has been concerned with improving the academic climate for women, improving student access to higher education, and improving the quality of undergraduate education. As a union activist, Professor Schwartz worked to win collective bargaining for higher education faculty in Illinois. She served as union president at Northeastern and spent over eight years as the Legislative Director for the University Professionals of Illinois where she lobbied for bills of interest to higher education faculty and students. She edited the union's newsletter, Universities 21, that is devoted to sharing ideas on academic issues.
Professor Schwartz's research continues to focus on marriages and families, socialization, nonmarital lifestyles, work, aging, and the structured relationships of race, class, and gender. Although she found teaching all courses thought-provoking and enjoyable, her favorites were Marriages and Families; Women, Men, and Social Change; and Introductory Sociology. In her teaching she employed interactive learning strategies and encouraged students to apply sociological insights in their everyday lives. Seeing students make connections between their individual lives and the larger social forces that influence them remains one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of her teaching career.
Dr. BarBara M. Scott has been married over 37 years and is the proud mother of two sons and two granddaughters. As a wife and mother of two small children, she returned to school, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and two different Master's Degrees: a Master of Arts Degree in Sociology and a Master of Philosophy from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and later a Doctorate in Sociology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Dr. Scott is a Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and former Chair of the Criminal Justice, Social Work, Sociology, and Women's Studies Department at Northeastern Illinois University. She is a strong advocate for curriculum transformation and the integration of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation into the college curriculum, as well as a social activist who has been in the forefront of organizing among national and international women of color, both within and outside academia.
Professor Scott has received meritorious recognition for her work and has served over 27 years as an educational and human resource consultant. She has coordinated the Women's Studies Program, is a founding member of the university's Black Women's Caucus, and is the faculty sponsor for the undergraduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on her campus. Her research and teaching interests include marriages and families, particularly African American families; the structured relationships of race, class, and gender; institutionalized racism and inequality; cultural images and the social construction of knowledge in the mass media; and Africana Women's Studies. She finds teaching challenging and invigorating, and among her favorite courses are Marriages and Families, Sociology of Black Women, and Introductory Sociology. She is an enthusiastic advocate of applying sociology to the everyday worlds in which we live and routinely engages her students in field research in the communities in which they live and work. After years of teaching, she still gets excited about the varied insights that sociology offers into both the most simple and the most complex questions and issues of human social life.
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