Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Work and Family: Research Informing Policy

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

Work and Family: Research Informing Policy

Article excerpt

Work and Family: Research Informing Policy. Toby L. Parcel & Daniel B. Cornfield (Eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 2000. 288 pp. ISBN 0-7619-1307-6. $72.95 cloth, $32.95 paper.

Toby Parcel and Daniel Cornfield state that it is possible for theoretically and conceptually driven sociological research to yield interesting and important implications for social policy, and in their volume Work and Family: Research Informing Policy, they set out to accomplish that goal. This edited volume builds upon studies published in a November 1996 special issue of Work and Occupations supplemented with additional solicited chapters. The authors begin by identifying two elements that emerge from ongoing societal debates of work-family (im)balance issues and the effect on families and society. The first of these issues is one of time, and the authors focus on the time that employment requires as well as the timing of occupational demands in relation to those of family. The authors reiterate a theme addressed in earlier discussions of work-family temporal issues, which is that both "private" family coping strategies and public policies must address the daily "juggling" concerns as well as the broader occupational and family life course issues. The second concern identified is how the choices families make interact with existing social policies to assist or hinder the management of work and family roles. These broad concerns appear to be one factor guiding the selection of research studies and the organization of the chapters for this volume.

Perhaps the most informative part of the introduction is the identification of policy themes that appear throughout chapters, which were selected to showcase research undertaken with different methods and based on different data sources. …

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