Unlike other family textbooks that mostly emphasize conflicts and problems, this book also features the joys and pleasures of family living and its mutually urishing qualities. Its perspective reflects polls, surveys, and student essays indicating that most people value their families. Families everywhere provide love, support, and sustenance to their members, but they do so in many different arrangements.Understanding the wide variety of families historically and across cultures gives the student a better basis for understanding how families change and a better grasp of more controversial changes such as the gradual acceptance by Westerners of same-sex marriage and child-rearing by single people. Liazos offers two poignant chapters t found in other texts. Family Living (Chapter Six) focuses on the social value of caregiving and family meals. Kin and Community (Chapter Seven) focuses on relationships among kin and the larger community.
Alex Liazos is Professor of Sociology at Regis College in Weston, MA, and the author of two other sociology texts: People First: An Introduction to Social Problems and Sociology: A Liberating Perspective.