In Man, Woman, and Marriage, noted experts discuss such subjects as the ways in which people choose their mates, how the family social system can entrap its members in neurotic "games," and the complex nature of marital love. Each of the essays has been significant in major controversies on family research and represents a progressive exploration of the "psychosocial" aspects of marriage and family life in the United States.
Alan L. Grey's penetrating Introduction traces the history of family research, reviews earlier theories of social interaction, discusses typical research approaches, and furnishes a stimulating commentary on each paper that enumerates the key ideas and themes most relevant to the main emphasis of the debate. Representative of the variety of viewpoints highlighted in this book are the pioneer efforts of Robert F. Winch and his co-workers, and the critical evaluations by George Levinger and Roland G. Tharp as they point out the numerous complexities of the interpersonal process. At the same time, Gerald Bauman and his co-workers demonstrate the use of more flexible and sensitive research devices, Melvin Cohen shows evidence of a type of family homeostasis, and Mirra Komarovsky offers a social-class comparison of typical kinds of husband-wife relationships.
Despite the contrasting opinion presented in the volume, the central theme runs through much of social science--the quest for better descriptions of small group process and the actual ways in which family participants affect one another. Bringing together original source materials that are both controversial and cross-disciplinary, Man, Woman, and Marriage promotes classroom discussion and is of immediate significance to all studies of marriage and family life whatever social-science discipline is emphasized.