Understanding families and social change

Nickie Charles, Charlotte Aull Davies and Chris Harris

in Families in transition

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9781861347893
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302308 | DOI:
Understanding families and social change

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This is a book about families and how they have changed since 1960. One way of investigating family change is by means of a restudy. This chapter examines different ways of theorising social change, exploring particularly how changing gender relations and patterns of family formation are seen as a fundamental aspect of social change. It develops a critique of these conceptualisations which is both theoretical and based on empirical research on families and kinship. In 1960, the social networks within which families were embedded were distinguished as either close knit or loose knit, they were gendered, had women at their heart and involved trust and shared norms and values. The difference between this and conceptions of social capital is that social capital is seen as a resource, whereas in the 1950s and 1960s, social networks were understood primarily in terms of solidarity.

Keywords: social change; family change; gender relations; kinship; social capital

Chapter.  9694 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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