Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Book Reviews -- Current Controversies on Family Violence by Richard J. Gelles and Donileen R. Loseke

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Book Reviews -- Current Controversies on Family Violence by Richard J. Gelles and Donileen R. Loseke

Article excerpt

Current Controversies on Family Violence. Richard J. Gelles & Donileen R. Loseke. Newbury Park: Sage. 1993. 360 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-8039-4673-2. $49 cloth, $24.95 paper.

Overall, Gelles and Loseke accomplish their goal of encouraging debate among family violence researchers. Current Controversies on Family Violence "airs the dirty laundry" (p. ix) of family violence researchers, showing that there is disagreement in conceptualizing the problem, the methodology of studying the problem, and interpreting findings to recommend appropriate interventions. The only point of agreement is that this is a real topic that requires action.

Among the problems faced by family violence researchers are personal morality issues that influence all aspects of research. The topic of family violence is political because there is a constant struggle for the limited amount of public resources that go into research and intervention. With a topic that elicits so much emotion, value-free research is impossible. Several chapters offer an urgent warning that if their solution is not adopted, then funding for the current solution will be cut. I fear that this reasoning often leads to an inhibition of innovation in theory and treatment.

This edited volume consists of 23 chapters authored by various respected names in the field of family violence research. The format of the book is arranged so that one chapter presents an interpretation of a topic in family violence from a psychological, sociological, or feminist perspective, then is followed by another chapter that expresses an opposing view of how that particular topic should be dealt with. The reader is led to the understanding that the way an issue is conceived affects the researchers' methodology, interpretation of the data, and implications for intervention. …

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