Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • What are families? In what ways are families the by-product of the social world?
  • How have families changed over time?  What has caused these changes?
  • How do different theoretical perspectives help sociologists understand families?
  • Who does the caretaking?
  • What challenges do families face?
  • How do work and social policies influence family life?