Battleground: The Family
by Kimberly P. Brackett, Editor
December 2008, 680pp, 7x10
2 volumes, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34095-6
$201, £155, 175€, A276
eBook Available: 978-1-57356-953-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A resource that provides a balanced and unbiased overview of the most incendiary debates involving family life in the United States today.

Everyone is part of a family, but what constitutes a family is one of the most hotly debated issues in the United States today. Battleground: The Family provides extensive coverage of those critical issues in U. S. culture concerning current and future family life, such as dating, marriage, parenting, work and family, abuse, and divorce. The scholarly contributors to this set provide unbiased coverage on these often incendiary topics, allowing students to assess the role of these controversies in their own lives. Entries thoroughly introduce the topic of concern, describe the problem as it currently exists, provide context for the controversies surrounding it, synthesize the current knowledge on the topic, and guide the reader to additional areas for consideration. Battleground: The Family serves as a starting point for those advanced high school and beginning undergraduate students who wish to pursue a more detailed study of family controversies and cultural concerns for classroom assignments. Non-specialist readers will also find this a useful resource in critically assessing current trends and conflicts in constituent groups’ conceptions of family.


"One of about a dozen entries in a new reference series, this print publication provides concise, insightful overviews of contemporary issues related to the family. Its more than 80 entries are organized alphabetically by topic. Each entry is multiple pages in length and provides background information, an overview of pertinent research, discussion of current perspectives, and thoughts on likely future developments. Each includes a helpful reading list of books, journals, and Web sites. . . . As suggested by the editor, this publication would well serve advanced high school and first-year undergraduate students.' "—Choice, June 1, 2009

"This two-volume reference, edited by Brackett (sociology, Auburn U. at Montgomery), reviews contemporary contentious issues and debates concerning family life in the United States at a level accessible to advanced high school students. Eighty-two articles are presented alphabetically, from 'Abortion' to 'White Wedding Industry.' They all include cross-references and guides to further reading. The entries fall under the broad topic headings of dating and relationship formation; domestic violence; ending personal relationships; family and other institutional connections; family formation options; family work, family crises, and caregiving; fertility and sexuality in relationships; parenting and child rearing issues; relationship and marital processes; traditional marriage and its alternatives; and work and family links. In addition to the two mentioned above, examples of specific topics include arranged marriage, birth control, common law marriage, developmental disability and marital stress, elder abuse, extramarital sexual relationships, housework allocation, mail order brides, midwifery and medicalization, parenting styles, pet death and the family, prenuptial agreements, same-sex marriage, surrogacy, and transracial adoption. The second volume includes a bibliography and an index."—Reference & Research Book News, May 1, 2009
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