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How Families Matter


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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Family 1. Who is Family? 2. Why Split the Family? 3. When is Family and Work Balanced? 4. What is Family Togetherness? Epilogue

About the Author

Pamela Braboy Jackson is professor of sociology at Indiana University, Bloomington. Rashawn Ray is associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland.


This beautifully written book captures the incredible complexity of American families by showcasing the real-life stories of individuals in families. It is sure to become a classic in the finest tradition of richly-textured sociological research on families. -- Debra Umberson, University of Texas
How Families Matter is a critical exploration of contemporary family life that informs the ongoing family decline-resilience debate. In embracing the demographic reality that families have become more complex, it offers us a practical and refreshing look into how real people `do family.' To do so, How Families Matter uses theory and the extant academic literature as a canvas upon which it paints vibrant pictures featuring first person accounts of family life from respondents of over 100 qualitative interviews. In sum, How Families Matter makes a unique contribution to the field of family studies and should be on the reading lists of students, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers alike. -- Armon R. Perry, University of Louisville
An intimate journey with Jackson and Ray, who tell the stories of families through the lens of identity. Race, gender, and class intersect as family members negotiate work and family, and reunite in times of celebration and crisis. An ambitious sociological analysis of real families today. Spirited and triumphant. -- Susan E. Short, Brown University

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