In this introduction to family studies, Jon Bernardes argues that variation and diversity are increasingly the hallmarks of family structure particularly in Europe and the United States. The book provides a comprehensive account of how families work both internally and in relation to society through the labor market and also through social institutions like education and the law. The chapters are designed to work as individual units of study in a course on the family. Each chapter highlights key issues, summarises the most relevant research in the area, suggests activities as a basis for student projects and discussion, and recommends further reading. Above all, this very positive approach to a changing social form encourages students to find out for themselves what the family, in all its richness and complexity, looks like as we enter the twenty first century.