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Constructing a Theory of the Family: From Malinowski through the Modern Nuclear Family to Production and Reproduction

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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The concept of the modern nuclear family has been the basis of the principal theory structuring scholarly analysis of the family over the past four decades. This paper illustrates how this concept has been employed, argues that it-and the theory underlying it-have outlived their usefulness, and proposes an alternate theoretical approach, one based on concepts of productive and reproductive work. Employing this theoretical approach can resolve a number of the problems inherent in the current literature and reinvigorate sociological analysis of the family.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405, U.S.A.


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