International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family

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9780028656724: International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family

The second edition of the "International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family" revises and expands Macmillan's 1995 "Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family," adopting an international, cross-cultural approach to such diverse topics as adolescent parenthood, family planning, cohabitation, widowhood, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, codependency and commuter marriages. It includes articles specific to countries and to religious traditions, examining the history of family life within these cultures and discussing how families have been affected by political and social change.

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About the Author:

Richard Wood has spent over five decades working in Meteorology, including 32 years at the National Weather Service (NWS) and the past 16 years as a Consulting Meteorologist, Educator, and Author/Editor of 8 books and hundreds of articles in various publications.

From Booklist:

High-school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and public library patrons will find this set provides a wealth of information on the dynamics of marriage and family life around the world. The set revises and significantly expands Macmillan's 1995 Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family. The annotation "(1995)" after an entry title in the alphabetical list of entries at the beginning of the first volume indicates that the entry has been essentially reprinted from the first edition with an updated bibliography.

The work is particularly notable because of its broad scope. Marriage and family are interpreted in the broadest sense, and contemporary issues related to marriage and family are included. International and cultural coverage, absent from the earlier edition, offer added value. Fifty countries representing the regions of the world were selected for inclusion; coverage of family life in these countries is excellent. There are 12 entries on unique racial and ethnic groups, selected because they were either indigenous or prominent in heterogeneous nations and research was available about their distinct family patterns. In addition, 11 entries on specific religions or belief systems are included because of the impact these systems have in guiding and supporting lifestyle choices and patterns. Adolescent parenthood, Commuter marriages, Dowry, Extended families, Hospice, In-law relationships, Jealousy, Menstrual taboo, Relationship metaphors, Sandwich generation, Wedding ring, and Work and family are some of the other topics covered.

Signed alphabetically arranged entries are carefully documented and accompanied by bibliographies incorporating cited works and suggestions for further reading. Cross-references to related content facilitate use. A comprehensive and well-developed index of nearly 100 pages concludes the set. The encyclopedia would have been enhanced by the addition of two items to the end matter: a directory of key associations and a list of core Web sites for further information. Although the bibliographies do include Internet sites, they are few and far between--something to consider in future editions.

There have only been a few reference works on family life published in the last decade. Oryx's Statistical Handbook on the American Family (2d ed., 1999) stands out. The five-volume Encyclopedia of Family Life (Salem, 1999) filled an important niche when it was published, because it was more comprehensive than the 1995 Macmillan set; that is no longer the case. The Salem set focuses on family issues that confront modern society in Canada and the U.S.; the new Macmillan set is broader in scope. In our rapidly changing multicultural world, purchase of this set is highly recommended for public, high-school and college libraries. There is no question that libraries owning the 1995 edition will serve their users well by investing in this update. Thumbs-up to Macmillan for both identifying a need in the reference literature in the social sciences and for significantly broadening the scope of their initial two-volume set. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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