Feuds about Families

Prentice Hall
Nijole V. Benokraitis / Nijole V. Benokraitis  
Total pages
October 1999
Related Titles

Product detail

Product Price CHF Available  
Feuds about Families
107.10 approx. 7-9 days


A core text or supplement for courses in Marriage and the Family and Sociology of the Family

This unique anthology provides-in a single, affordable source-readings that represent the three major perspectives- conservative, centrist, liberal/feminist-on 16 important and controversial marriage and family-related topics. It offers an alternative to the other “taking sides” and “opposing viewpoints” readers on the market, and features solid pedagogy that encourages students to sort intelligently through the issues and perspectives, to think for themselves, and to developinformed opinions. Edited by one of the best selling Marriage and the Family authors, Nijole V. Benokraitis.


  • Sixteen topics common to most marriage/family textbooks and courses dealing with the family-e.g., family values, gender roles, cohabitation, parenting, divorce, and stepfamilies.
    • Makes the reader ideal for use as either a core text or a supplement to most texts.

  • Marriage and family issues through wider lenses.
    • Meets the needs of classes with students from diverse backgrounds who have a variety of perspectives on family (and other) topics. These students often feel that their views are ignored in readers that present only “pro” and “con” positions.

  • Articles from several political and ideological positions.
    • Provides instructors with a catalyst for stimulating class discussions, and helps students develop critical thinking skills, encouraging them to formulate more informed opinions about the complexity of marriage and family issues.

  • Two original, theoretical chapters that characterize the “family wars.”
    • Shows students the consequences of such “wars” in their everyday lives.

  • Substantive section introductions- Suggests some of the similarities, differences, and overlap (when it occurs) across the various perspectives. Also includes supporting or supplementary material that update data cited in some of the articles, integrate empirical research findings, and incorporate relevant and well-known studies that enhance the selections in each chapter. When pertinent, current news items suggest how some family-related laws and practices are changing as this reader goes to press.
    • Shows students that the issues have very “real” contexts and that they permeate society on a variety of levels.

  • A brief introduction to each selection-Highlights the key issues to keep in mind while reading a selection or a set of selections in a chapter.
    • Keeps students focused while reading each article and helps them “bridge” or contrast the three perspectives on each issue.

  • Three “critical-thinking questions” for each selection-Features at least two questions that ask students to question the author's theoretical position, usage of data, consistency, etc. The third question asks students to compare/contrast two or more of the articles in terms a specific question or a more general theme.
    • Helps students reflect about the political and ideological controversies surrounding family issues.

Table of Contents


1. Norval D. Glenn, Who's Who in the Family Wars: A Characterization of the Major Ideological Factions.
2. Nijole V. Benokraitis, How Family Wars Affect Us: Four Models of Family Change and Their Consequences.


3. Current Perspectives on the Family.

Conservative: Patrick F. Fagan, The Breakdown of the Family. Centrist: Jean Elshtain, Enola Aird, Amitai Etzioni, William Galston, Mary Ann Glendon, Martha Minow, and Alice Rossi, A Communitarian Position on the Family. Liberal/Feminist: Stephanie Coontz, Why We Miss the 1950s.

4. Family Values.

Conservative: James Q. Wilson, The Family-Values Debate. Centrist: Dennis Orthner, The Revolution in Family Norms. Liberal/Feminist: Arlene Skolnick and Stacey Rosencrantz, The New Crusade for the Old Family.

5. Women's and Men's Family Roles.

Conservative: George Gilder, Women Should Domesticate Men for Marriage. Centrist: Maggie Gallagher, Gender Roles: A Taboo Subject. Liberal/Feminist: Betty Carter and Joan K. Peters, Remaking Marriage and Family Roles.


6. Love and Courtship.

Conservative: Leon Kass, The End of Courtship. Centrist: Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton, Love and Individualism. Liberal/Feminist: Carol Tavris, Women as Love's Experts and Love's Victims.

7. Sex and Cohabitation.

Conservative: Laura Schlessinger, Stupid Cohabitation: The Ultimate Female Self-Delusion. Centrist: William J. Doherty, How Therapists Threaten Marriages. Liberal/Feminist: Andrea Martin, Why Get Married?

8. Marriage.

Conservative: Steven Flanders, The Benefits of Marriage. Centrist: Linda J. Waite, Social Science Finds: “Marriage Matters.” Liberal/Feminist: Karen R. Blaisure and Katherine R. Allen, Feminism and Marital Equality.


9. Single-Parent Families.

Conservative: Bryce Christensen, Imperiled Infants. Centrist: David Popenoe, The Carnage of Declining Marriage and Fatherhood. Liberal/Feminist: Judith Stacey, The Father Fixation.

10. Raising Children.

Conservative: Den A. Trumbull and S. DuBose Ravenel, Spare the Rod? Centrist: John P. Bartkowski and Christopher G. Ellison, Conservative vs. Mainstream Models of Childrearing in Popular Manuals. Liberal/Feminist: Murray S. Straus, Ten Myths that Perpetuate Corporal Punishment.

11. Gay and Lesbian Families.

Conservative: Lawrence F. Burtoft, Gay Parenting and the Developmental Needs of Children. Centrist: Barbara F. Okun, Gay and Lesbian Parenting. Liberal/Feminist: Thomas B. Stoddard, Why Gay People Should Seek the Right to Marry.


12. Work and Family Life.

Conservative: Family Research Council, Children's Needs and Parents' Careers. Centrist: Dana Mack, Parenting, Bureaucratic Style. Liberal/Feminist: Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers, Ozzie and Harriet Are Dead.

13. Racial and Ethnic Diversity.

Conservative: Stephan Thernstrom and Abigail Thernstrom,Black Family Structure and Poverty. Centrist: Amitai Etzioni, Multiculturalism or One People? Liberal/Feminist: Lynet Uttal, Racial Safety and Cultural Maintenance in Childcare.

14. The Impact of Social Class.

Conservative: Carl F. Horowitz, Searching for the White Underclass. Centrist: Susan E. Mayer, What Money Can't Buy. Liberal/Feminist: Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein, Making Ends Meet.


15. Family Violence.

Conservative: Patricia Pearson, Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence. Centrist: Richard J. Gelles, Myths about Family Violence. Liberal/Feminist: Russell P. Dobash, R. Emerson Dobash, Margo Wilson, and Martin Daly, The Myth of Sexual Symmetry in Marital Violence.

16. Divorce.

Conservative: Glenn T. Stanton, Finding Fault with No-Fault Divorce. Centrist: Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Dismantling the Divorce Culture. Liberal/Feminist: Demie Kurz, Why Women Seek Divorce.

17. Remarriage and Stepfamilies.

Conservative: William A. Heth, Why Remarriage Is Wrong. Centrist: David Blankenhom, The Stepfather as Nonfather. Liberal/Feminist: Sarah Turner, My Wife-in-Law and Me: Reflections on a Joint-Custody Stepparenting Relationship.

18. Family Policies.

Conservative: Charles Murray, What Government Must Do to Reduce Welfare. Centrist: Laura A. Wilson and Robert P. Stoker, Is Federal Welfare Reform Helping or Hurting Poor Families? Liberal/Feminist: Ruth Sidel, Abandoning Poor Families.