Advancing Family Theories explores two contemporary theories of the family - rational choice theory and transition theory. These diametrically different approaches illuminate what differing theories reveal about families. The book also discusses how meta-theories can assist in building and refining theory and offers insight on the "understanding versus explanation" debate. Advancing Family Theories gives students a precise notion of what a theory is and how theories work in research. The book not only looks at philosophical realms but also examines particular substantive theory to explain and predict family behaviors.Advancing Family Theories is an excellent supplement to Family Theories, Second Edition (SAGE, 2002), or is effective on its own. The book helps students with the task of taking abstract and very general theories and reducing them to a level of specific research models and hypotheses.
"Professor White has written a `must-read' book for anyone interested in family theory. This well-written and timely text . . . tackles difficult topics head on, offering pragmatic solutions and nicely nuanced insights. Advancing Family Theories is exactly the sort of book that lends itself well to both the classroom and more specialized theoretical and empirical work."
-- Jay Teachman
"A perfect companion text for graduate courses on family theories. It is refreshing to have a single author pull no punches in articulating a viewpoint on where we have gone astray in family theory and how we can find our way again. Jim White has accomplished the nearly impossible mission of being informative, balanced, clear, and provocative at the same time."
-- William J. Doherty
"This book fills an important niche in the family literature. Books on family theory often focus on describing a variety of conceptual frameworks; this book spotlights the process of theorizing. Beginning with an in-depth discourse on the philosophy of science and a history of theory development in the family field, White wrestles with the vital question of how we develop theory in a post-positivist world. It is a valuable source for seasoned scholars as well as for students who are just being introduced to family theories."
-- Dale Hawley, Ph.D."Making a strong case for the importance of theory in social science, the author argues that theories on the family would assist understanding across cultural contexts and variations."
-- Savithri Subramanian