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The Meanings of Marital Equality
The Meanings of Marital Equality
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Scott R. Harris - Author
SUNY series in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences
Price: $61.50 
Hardcover - 209 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6621-3
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6621-6

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Price: $29.95 
Paperback - 209 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6622-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6622-3

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

An ethnographic study of marital equality.

Scott R. Harris develops an interactionist, interpretive approach to studying equality in social life by synthesizing the theoretical perspectives of four founding figures in interactionist, social constructivist thought—Herbert Blumer, Alfred Schutz, Harold Garfinkel, and John Dewey. He focuses on equality in marriage by examining the stories people tell about their equal and unequal marriages, and compares those tales to what researchers have had to say on the subject. Challenging conventional understandings of equality, Harris demonstrates that social scientists in general tend to impose interpretations of inequality onto their respondents’ lives, rather than respecting and studying the meanings that people live by.

“Harris’s unique approach moves well beyond the standard and, in my view, very tired thinking about what it means to have an equal (or unequal) marriage. If anything is central to the study of marriage and family, it’s the question of marital equality. Every scholar and graduate student working in this area will need to have this book, and even those who disagree with the approach will need to read what Harris offers in order to properly come to terms with it from their varied points of view.” — Jaber F. Gubrium, coeditor of Qualitative Research Practice

“Harris does an excellent job clarifying the differences between objectivist and constructionist perspectives. The issues he discusses are vital for any social scientific field. In some subfields, such as social problems research, the constructionist perspective is well established. In the family field there has been some discussion but no sustained presentation of how a constructionist perspective would offer an alternative way of understanding family life—Harris’s book makes a real contribution here.” — Stan J. Knapp, Brigham Young University

Scott R. Harris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Saint Louis University.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments                  
Preface

1. Equality as a Social Construction

            Traditional and Interactionist Approaches to Studying Equality
            Symbolic Interactionism and Equality
            Phenomenology and Equality
            Ethnomethodology and Equality
            Dewey on Morality, Equality, and Social Reform 
            Conclusion

2. Quantitative Research on Marital Equality: Inter-Researcher Discontinuity and Researcher-Subject Divergence

            Four Traditions of Quantitative Research
            Critiquing the Literature: Discontinuity and Divergence 
            Conclusion

3. Qualitative Research on Marital Equality: Naturalist and Constructionist Approaches

            Naturalism, Social Constructionism, and Narrative Analysis
            Naturalist Studies of Marital Equality 
            Constructionism and Marital Equality
            Conclusion 

4. Narrating Marital Equality: Familiar Domains of Relevance

            Acquiring Data
            The Domain of Power 
            The Domain of the Division of Labor 
            The Domain of Love

5. Narrating Marital Equality: Unfamiliar Domains of Relevance

            Conclusion

6. The Implications of Constructionism

            Summarizing Collins, Chang, and Schwalbe et al.
            Comparison and Critique
            Conclusion

Notes 
References 
Index       



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