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An international textbook designed as a quick introduction for students from around the world studying sociology of family, this text provides comprehensive coverage of the major topics in the sociology of family life. Written in an easy access style it opens with a chapter on defining family and family structures. It then moves on to discuss over a dozen major topics; from interaction and meaning in families to sexuality. David Cheal provides coverage of these topics by drawing on a variety of international material. Most of the studies focus on contemporary family life but Cheal also presents information on historical changes which have shaped family life as it is known today. This book an incredibly valuable teaching tool as it presents diversity in family patterns through thinking about family life from a global perspective.