The family of the future what do we face?

Kathleen M. Galvin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


At the close of the 20th century, organizational development specialist Peter Vaill (1996) asserted that living in a world of “permanent white water,” a complex, turbulent, competitive environment, necessitates lifelong learning. Fourteen years later he re-emphasized the ongoing need to manage surprising, novel, and obtrusive events (Vaill, Bunker & Santana, 2010). Twenty-first century family communication scholarship represents a shift from an early, extensive focus on marital interaction to a broad range of research questions. The rapidly evolving nature of families and their environments challenge communication scholars to continually explore new directions. Relying on a slight variation of the framework printed in the handbook edition (2004), this chapter will update selected material, explore cutting edge family interaction research and provide informed speculation regarding future scholarship. The family of the future will: 1 Reflect an increasing diversity of self-conceptions, evidenced through structural as well as cultural variations, that will challenge current family scholars to abandon their historical, nucleocentric biases, unitary cultural assumptions, and implied economic and religious assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Family Communication
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781136946370
ISBN (Print)9780415881982
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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