Discussion Questions

  • Why do people get married? Why do people not marry? Think about individual and sociological reasons. Link your answers to the discussion of marriage trends and the experience of marriage discussed in this chapter.

  • Recent data show some changes in the child-care practices of U.S. families. What do trends show? How do sociological factors help to explain the changes?

  • How does the case of deaf families with hearing children show the opportunities and challenges of family life characterized by different cultures? Can this case be compared to immigrant families with children? What similarities and differences can you identify?

  • Lareau’s research suggests that middle- and working class families have different child-rearing styles. How does she describe these styles? Why might the differences be sociologically significant?

  • Who is the “global woman”? What are the costs and benefits to women and families of a global labor market for care work?