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Changes Examines how recent profound structural and attitudinal changes affect family forms, interpersonal relationships, and raising children. It reaches beyond the traditional discussions to explore racial-ethnic families, single-parent families and gay families as well as the recent scholarship by and about men, fathers, and grandfathers. Contemporary American marriages and families vary greatly in structure, dynamics, and cultural heritage.
Thus, discussions of gender roles, social class, race, ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation are integrated throughout this book. Choices On the individual level, family members have many more choices today than ever before. People feel freer to postpone marriage, to cohabit, or to raise children as single parents. As a result, household forms vary greatly, ranging from commuter marriages to those in which several generations live together under the same roof.
Constraints Although family members choices are more varied today, we also face greater macro- level constraints. Our options are increasingly limited, for example, by government policies. Economic changes often shape family life and not vice versa.
Political and legal institutions also have a major impact on most families in tax laws, welfare reform, and even in defining what a family is. Because laws, public policies, and religious groups affect our everyday lives, the author has framed many discussions of individual choices within the larger picture of the institutional constraints that limit our choices. To learn more about the new edition, click here to visit the showcase site.
Through this approach, students are better able to understand what the research and statistics mean "for themselves"! About the Author: Nijole V. Benokraitis, professor emerita of sociology at the University of Baltimore, taught the marriage and family course for almost 25 years.
It was her favorite class but her courses in racial and ethnic relations and gender roles ran a close second. Professor Benokraitis received a B. She was a strong proponent of applied sociology and required her students to enhance their knowledge through interviews, direct observation, and other hands-on learning methods.
She also enlisted her students in community service activities such as tutoring and mentoring inner-city high school students, writing to government officials and other decision makers about specific social problems, and volunteering research services to nonprofit organizations.
Professor Benokraitis immigrated to the United States from Lithuania with her family after World War II as a political refugee when she was five years old. She is bilingual and bicultural and is very empathetic of students who must balance the demands of several cultural worlds.
Benokraitis has published numerous articles and book chapters on topics such as institutional racism, discrimination against women in government and higher education, fathers in two-earner families, displaced homemakers, and family policy. Benokraitis has made several appearances on radio and television shows on gender communication differences and single-sex educational institutions.
Professor Benokraitis lives in Maryland with her husband, Dr. Vitalius Benokraitis, a vice president at a technology assessment company. They have two adult children, Gema and Andrius.
The author looks forward and always responds to comments on the 7th edition of Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints. She can be reached at nbenokraitis ubalt.
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Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices and Constraints, 7th Edition