Now in its fourth edition, Family Matters offers an enriched discussion on a variety of substantive issues experienced by diverse Canadian families across the life course. Adopting a feminist sociological approach throughout, this popular textbook explores family dynamics through a critical life course theoretical lens. This over-arching perspective is used to examine how social, economic, and historical processes related to gender roles, age and generational location, ethnicity and race, geographical location, and social change shape contemporary family life.
As a leading name in sociology, Barbara Mitchell has thoroughly updated the previous edition to reflect timely current events, recent census data, and cutting-edge research. Providing more detailed and nuanced discussions of many areas including life course and other styles of critical theorizing on families, this new edition examines the history of slavery and Black family life in Canada, Indigenous families, foreign/temporary workers, intersectional and racialized processes influencing families, youth activism, transgender children, technology and social media, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aging families.
Approachable, concise, and filled with discussion questions, activities, and resources for further reading, Family Matters is the perfect resource for students enrolled in introductory or advanced level courses in family sociology and gender studies.
up-to-date material featuring current events, recent research studies and statistics, including census and other national data sets
new and expanded content on a wide range of timely topics, such as Indigenous and racialized family life, transgender children, technology and social media, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
includes updated instructor supplement package equipped with PowerPoint slides, video resource suggestions, and a test bank
PART I: Understanding Continuity, Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change in Families
Chapter 1: Family Matters: An Introduction to the Sociology of Canadian Families
Chapter 2: Family Theory and Methods: Windows on Families and Family Research
Chapter 3: Canadian Families in Historical, Cross-Cultural, and Global Context
Chapter 4: First Families: Indigenous Peoples and Family Life in Pre-Post Confederate Canada
Chapter 5: Immigration and the Changing Ethnic Mosaic of Canadian Families
Chapter 6: More than a Labour of Love: Gender, Unpaid Work, and the Cult of Domesticity
PART II: The Ties That Bind: Family Formation and Generational Connections
Chapter 7: Close Relations in Youth and Young Adulthood: Establishing Partnerships and Forming Families
Chapter 8: Families and Children in the Early Years: Childhood, Socialization, and Shifting Ideologies of Parenthood
Chapter 9: All Our Families: Diversity, Challenge, and Continuity in Non-Conforming Coupled Relationships
Chapter 10: Family Dissolution and the Brady Bunch: Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage
Chapter 11: Families in the Middle and the Launching of Children: Home-Leaving, Boomerang Kids, and the Empty Nest
Chapter 12: Aging Families and the Sunset Years: Caregiving and Support across the Generations
PART III: Families on the Fault Line and Social Policy Issues
Chapter 13: Families, Health, and Well-Being: Choices and Constraints over the Life Course
Chapter 14: Trying to Make Ends Meet: Family Poverty, Living on the Margins, and Financial Struggle
Chapter 15: Families in Crisis: Family Violence, Abuse, and Stress
Chapter 16: Families and the State: Family Policy in an Era of Globalization and Economic Uncertainty
Barbara A. Mitchell is a Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, jointly appointed with the Department of Gerontology, at Simon Fraser University.
“Family Matters provides a comprehensive and highly readable overview on the shifting nature of Canadian family life. Drawing on the most up-to-date research, each chapter illuminates the changing context of contemporary families. It is an excellent addition for those seeking to understand Canadian families.”
—Nancy Mandell, Professor, Sociology, York University
“The fourth edition of Family Matters offers students a clear overview of relevant issues experienced by contemporary Canadian families. From heightened coverage of intersectional identities to current sociological research and first-person accounts of family struggles and triumphs, Mitchell’s text provides a critically engaging, sometimes provocative, approach to family sociology in Canada today.”
—Vicki L. Nygaard, Chair and Professor, Studies in Women and Gender and Professor, Sociology, Vancouver Island University
“Family Matters is a clear, insightful, and relevant book providing a comprehensive background in the field of Family Sociology. In an area of crucial importance in Canadian society, this edition has brought attention to positive strides in redressing historical injustices. A focus on family trends, inequalities, and the challenges faced by contemporary Canadian families supports the relevance of this book for courses exploring issues related to contemporary Canadian families.”
—Barbara Baker, Professor, School of Human Services and Community Safety Social Service Worker Program, Georgian College
The Instructor Resources for Family Matters, Fourth Edition include:
A detailed Instructor’s Manual for each chapter, with suggested in-class exercises, assignments, films/clips, and sources for building case studies
A Sample syllabus template to aid in course organization and development
A Test Bank containing multiple choice, true or false, and short-answer questions
PowerPoint slides with content covering each chapter
A Student’s Resource with learning objects, key terms, self-assessment quizzes, and more
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