While the family and its role continues to be a key topic in social and government policy, much of the literature is concerned with describing the dramatic changes that are taking place. By contrast, Analysing Families directly addresses the social processes responsible for these changes - how social policy interacts with what families actually do. Topics covered include:
* the relationship between morality and rationality in the family context
* the variety of contemporary family forms
* the purposes and assumptions of government interventions in family life
* the relationship between different welfare states and different ideas about motherhood
* 'Third Way' thinking on families
* divorce and post-divorce arrangements
* lone parenthood and step-parenting
* the decision to have children
* the economic approach to understanding family process
* the legitimacy of state intervention in family life.
With contributions from the UK, and North America, Analysing Families provides the framework within which to understand an increasingly important element in social policy.
Table of Contents
Part One: Introduction 1. Families, Theories and Values 2. Family Change in International Context Part Two: Perspectives on Family Policy 3. Political Intervention and Family Policy 4. The Rationality Mistake and Family Policy in Britain 5. Motherhood and the Welfare State 6. A Third Way? Moralities, Ethics and Families Part Three: Family Practices 7. Sociological Perspectives on the Family 8. Caring and Changing: Children, Parents and Divorce 9. The Ethics of Care and the Practice of Parents Part Four: Modelling Families 10. Alternative Rationalities or Why do Economists Become Parents? 11. Households and Paid Work; an Ecological Approach 12. Computer Simulation of Family Practices Part Five: Conclusion 13. Families, Social Change and the State