Current controversies on family violence

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Sage Publications, Sep 28, 1993 - Family & Relationships - 390 pages
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"The text edited by Richard J. Gelles and Donileen R. Loseke . . . is likely to be of value to students, researchers, practitioners, and academics. . . . Current Controversies on Family Violence is worthy of attention and should be widely read and the findings disseminated."

--Bridget Penhale in British Journal of Social Work

Competing research results have led to bitter debates on family violence. Do prevention programs for children effect rates of child sexual abuse? Are alcohol and drug use a cause of family violence? Is child abuse transmitted from generation to generation? Experts in this field disagree on everything from the subject of research (Is it family violence? Interpersonal violence? Or men's violence against women?) to its causes (Is it caused by Pathology? Structural factors? Or gender related factors?). For the first time, the key figures in this field debate with each other within the covers of one book. In Current Controversies on Family Violence, thoughtful--often heated--discussions highlight the most current controversies, research, and policy directions in the family violence issue. This is an excellent and necessary resource for students and researchers of interpersonal violence, sociology, social work, nursing, gender studies, clinical psychology, criminal justice, and gerontology.

"Overall, Gelles and Loseke accomplish their goal of encouraging debate among family violence researchers....does the best job I have seen at presenting the spectrum of approaches to the problem in a fair objective outstanding contribution to family violence research."

--Journal of Marriage and the Family

"A well-balanced and informative debate and discussion. All of the chapters discuss not only the research findings in the literature, but also point out the limitations of the various methodologies and samples used in the research studies. Each chapter has a useful list of references. . . . The debate presented in the book is thought-provoking and informative. It avoids the rancor and polarized and ad hominem attacks so characteristic of the discussions contained in the public media and often at professional conferences. In so doing, it broadens our perspective, enhances our understanding, and bursts our bubbles of professional pretention. It is a book we all should read and ponder."

--Juvenile Clarion

"This is an important, useful book that covers the numerous contested issues regarding woman battering, rape, and child abuse."


"These essays are exemplary in conceptualization, organization, and delivery. The messages are crystal clear, the readability superb. This book stands as a model of editorial excellence. The design of the volume is unique and responds well to a clear need in the subdiscipline of family violence, which remains fraught with diversity and dissention. . . . This piece of work is honest and effectively illuminates the growing pains of a very young and ideologically loaded subdiscipline that is anchored by an interdisciplinary and heterogeneous collection of smart people. Current Controversies on Family Violence is a powerful addition to the family violence literature. I recommend it as required reading for family violence courses. Gelles and Loseke are to be commended for their excellent idea, their tenacity, their directness and candor as expressed in the framing materials, their sensitive insights, and their superb editorial skills."

--Ann Goetting, Western Kentucky University

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About the author (1993)

Richard J. Gelles received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Hampshire.  He is the Dean of The School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania and holds The Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence in the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is the Director of the Center for the Study of Youth Policy and Co-Director of the Center for Children’s Policy, Practice, and Research. His book, The Violent Home was the first systematic empirical investigation of family violence and continues to be highly influential.  He is the author or coauthor of 23 books and more than 100 articles and chapters on family violence.  His latest books are, The Book of David:  How Preserving Families Can Cost Children's Lives (Basic Books, 1996) and Intimate Violence in Families, Third Edition (Sage Publications, 1997).

Donileen R. Loseke received her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in behavioral science from California State University Dominguez Hills, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She currently is a professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida. Her books include The Battered Woman and Shelters (1992, New York Press), which won the 1994Charles Horton Cooley Award from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction, and Thinking About Social Problems: An Introduction to Constructionist Perspectives, 2e (2003, Aldine deGruyter), and Current Controversies on Family Violence, 2nd edition, edited with Richard Gelles and Mary Cavanaugh (2005, SAGE). Numerous journal articles and book chapters report the findings of her empirical research projects that have been on a variety of topics (including evaluation research, social problems, criminal justice, social service provision, occupations, emotion, identity, and narrative), and have used a variety of data collection techniques (including field experiment, written survey, in-depth interview, ethnography, and document analysis). She has been the editor of the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography and an Advisory Editor for Social Problems. Currently she is an editorial board member of Social Psychology Quarterly, an Advisory Editor for The Sociological Quarterly, and an Associate Editor of Symbolic Interaction and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

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