This interdisciplinary compilation treats an array of topics directly and peripherally related to the concepts of marriage and the family. Abortion, Bankruptcy, Family Values, Homeless Families, Mate Selection, Stress, Substance Abuse, and Work & Family are a few of the 169 entries, ideas for which came from existing curricula, high-school and college texts, scholarly and professional publications, and media coverage of relevant issues. All varieties of families in twentieth-century America are treated: single parent, gay and lesbian, step, adoptive, and foster. Some entries discuss children (Child Care, Juvenile Delinquency); others, the relationship between adult children and their parents (Elder Abuse, Filial Responsibility). The extended family is well covered, with articles on in-laws and intergenerational relationships. Some topics, such as Divorce, have multiple entries with different approaches (legal, economic, emotional, etc.). Though written for an academic audience, most of these entries are accessible to laypeople.
The signed articles are two to ten pages in length and include lengthy bibliographies of scholarly materials. Some entries, such as Demography and Name Selection, have tables and charts. Cross-references appear at the ends of entries and in the detailed index. The list of contributors provides their institutional affiliations but not their credentials. Though the editor is vice president of the Human Relations Area Files, this new title does not take a cross-cultural approach; it addresses marriage and family in the U.S. context. According to the preface, Levinson has taught courses on marriage and the family and has done research on family violence; the advisory editors come from the fields of anthropology, gerontology, home economics, law, psychiatry, sexology, and sociology.
Designed to be a single reference "bringing together and summarizing what we know and pointing out what we do not know" on topics of interest to a broad range of readers, this two-volume set presents good overviews of the subjects covered and should be useful in high-school, academic, and public libraries. The Encyclopedia of Marriage, Divorce and the Family (Facts On File, 1989) has similar coverage but is a more popular treatment and entries are briefer.From Library Journal:
The stated purpose of this title is to provide "a compendium of knowledge about marriages, families, and human relationships, and about the psychological, cultural, and societal forces that influence them." The coverage is geared toward nonspecialists, and most professionals would not find the literature reviews complete enough to be of much use. For students and general readers, the encyclopedia is a mixed bag. The authors are generally recognized experts, and the index is adequate. However, the inclusion of topics seems at times arbitrary. For example, "Infertility" is discussed as a medical phenomenon, but the emotional and social implications of involuntary childlessness, a well-researched if still controversial topic, is not mentioned. The discussion of "Social Networks" is limited to married people, while the related topic of "Social Support" is omitted. On the other hand, some articles, such as that on "Psychiatric Disorders," do not clarify the relationship of the subject to the study of marriage and the family. Another major problem is that several of the more technical articles use undefined specialized terms (e.g., "internal validity" and "univariate analysis" in the article on "Research Methods"). Most of the topics here are covered adequately in the recent Encyclopedia of Psychology (LJ 6/1/94). Not a necessary purchase. [For a review of a related title, see Jeffrey S. Turner's Encyclopedia of Relationships Across the Lifespan, p. 94.-Ed.]-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
--Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description MacMillan Reference Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P11002897235X
Book Description MacMillan Reference Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX002897235X
Book Description MacMillan Reference Books, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M002897235X