Family: Changing Families, Changing Times

Front Cover
Marilyn Poole
Allen & Unwin, 2004 - Social Science - 254 pages
We are shaped by our early lives in our families, and in times of crisis, we turn to our families for help. Yet though we seek intimacy and support from our families, they can sometimes be places of stress and violence. Family explores contemporary Australian family life, looking at new partnership patterns, the decline in fertility, changing roles for fathers, children as consumers, the ageing population, and intimacy and power in family relationships. It examines the dissatisfaction many families now experience in terms of work/life balance, as parents juggle paid work and child care responsibilities. It also considers the impact of expectations of high levels of personal fulfillment not only on family relationships but on all aspects of life. With contributions from leading Australian family researchers including Kerreen Reiger, Barbara Pocock, Beryl Langer and Andrew Singleton this text is for tertiary courses in sociology, social work, education, community studies and other human service fields. It is also a valuable resource for policymakers and researchers

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Changing families changing times 1
The rise of a modern institution
Beyond the nuclear family
What counts and what doesnt
The more things change the more they stay the same
More than breadwinners?
The consumer generation
New choices new challenges
Changing pressures and choices

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 32 - According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the final instance, the production and reproduction of the immediate essentials of life. This, again, is of a twofold character. On the one side, the production of the means of existence, of articles of food and clothing, dwellings, and of the tools necessary for that production; on the other side, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species.
Page 32 - ... the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social institutions under which men of a definite historical epoch and of a definite country live are conditioned by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labour, on the one hand, and of the family, on the other.
Page 37 - I think, by the free floating couple, a marital dyad subject to dramatic fissions and fusions, and without the orbiting satellites of pubertal children, close friends or neighbours ... just the relatives, hovering in the back-ground, friendly smiles on their faces.
Page 36 - The method we have employed tries to avoid this danger by positing the family, not as a point of departure, as a manifest reality, but as a moving resultant, an uncertain form whose intelligibility can only come from studying the system of relations it maintains with the sociopolitical level.
Page 26 - We therefore suggest that the basic and irreducible functions of the family are two: first, the primary socialization of children so that they can truly become members of the society into which they have been born; second, the stabilization of the adult personalities of the population of the society.
Page 11 - I suggest we should substitute that of the juggernaut - a runaway engine of enormous power which, collectively as human beings, we can drive to some extent but which also threatens to rush out of our control and which could rend itself asunder. The juggernaut crushes those who resist it, and while it sometimes seems to have a steady path, there are times when it veers away erratically in directions we cannot foresee.
Page 82 - To assume that a form, because it is a variant, is abnormal is to evade the task before us. The first job of science is, after all, to study what is, not what might, or could, or should be.
Page 227 - On the other hand, we have been reluctantly, but inevitably, driven to the conclusion that the people — led astray by false and pernicious doctrine into the belief that personal interests and ambitions, a high standard of ease, comfort, and luxury, are the essential aims of life, and that these aims are best attained by refusing to accept the consequences which nature has ordained shall follow from marriage — have neglected, and are neglecting, their true duty to themselves, to their fellow countrymen,...
Page 227 - Commission in 1904: . . . the people— led astray by false and pernicious doctrine into the belief that personal interests and ambitions, a high standard of ease, comfort, and luxury, are the essential aims of life...
Page 11 - When people face what nothing in their past has prepared them for they grope for words to name the unknown, even when they can neither define nor understand it. Some time in the third quarter of the century we can see this process at work among the intellectuals of the West. The keyword was the small preposition "after," generally used in its latinate form "post...

About the author (2004)

Marilyn Poole is an associate professor in the school of social and international studies at Deakin University. She is the coeditor of A Certain Age and Sociology: Australian Connections.

Bibliographic information