Reviews for 'Counted Out': 'Fascinating,' 'Insightful' and 'A Model for Public Sociology'

Rohan Mascarenhas, Russell Sage Foundation
May 30, 2012

gay marriageAfter President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, we wrote a post analyzing American attitudes on family and marriage. That research came from Counted Out, which examines currents in public opinion to predict how Americans’ definitions of family may change in the future. The volume has earned excellent reviews over the past two years and the latest issues of Gender & Society and Contemporary Sociology add to the praise:

M. V. Lee Badgett, University of Massachusetts, Amherst:

This excellent recent book, Counted Out, by a team of sociologists including Brian Powell, Catherine Bolzendahl, Claudia Geist, and Lala Carr Steelman, is one of the most insightful and readable books to explain the changes in Americans’ views of family that are driving these debates and legal changes. Powell et al. angle their analytical lens to illuminate the borders of Americans’ definition of family and how they set those boundaries that bring same-sex couples in or keep them out.

And here is Tey Meadow, Princeton University:

[The authors] provide a fascinating glimpse into the ways that Americans define family in this text. The data are over 1,500 responses to the Constructing the Family Survey, conducted in two waves, in 2003 and 2006. Authors assembled a nationally representative sample of 712 respondents in 2003 and 815 in 2006....What these data yield is a complex and fascinating portrayal not only of the current state of public opinion regarding family diversity, but also of the ways in which ideas of family are inextricable from understandings of gender, sexuality, bodies, the economy, and love.

To learn more about the volume, you can read the first chapter of Counted Out and browse through its charts and tables for free.


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