Editor's Comments

By Swenson, Don | Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

Editor's Comments


Swenson, Don, Journal of Comparative Family Studies


I would like to introduce myself to you as the new editor of the Journal. My name is Don Swenson, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I offer to you about twenty-five years of research and teaching in the sociology of the family. Several foci constitute my academic life: the link between religion and the family, family theory, divorce, family history and the sociology of religion. My desire is to do my best to engage in the process of being the editor and hope to follow and maintain the quality of the Journal that the previous editors, Professor James White and Professor Emeritus, George Kurian, have done so well.

One over all theme, the modernization theory of Goode, captures all the papers except the article on translating a dyadic instrument from English to Urdu in Pakistan {Urdu Translation Of The California Inventory For Family Assessment For Use In Pakistan by Amna Khalid, Farah Qadir, Paul D. Wemer, and Robert-Jay Green).

Under this major theme, two themes do capture the five articles and the one research note: Parenting and Partnering/being unpartnered. Comments will be offered along with a table of contents that reflect this categorization.

Under the theme, parenting, there are two articles. The first one is devoted to parental decisions to reduce family size in Odisha, India and the other on differences in parental involvement among Pilipino and American children. The first author, Harihar Sahoo, in his work Family size Preferences and Decision Making Process in Odisha India, fits well with Goode's modernization theory. The participants of his study substantially agreed with this statement: "a small family is a good family." Sahoo used to quantitative data sets to investigate what were the factors that influenced parents of reduce the number of children. Several factors were relevant: caste, education, how children were valued (especially sons), and exposure to the media. By far, the strongest variable was the operationalized one, economic. The cost of an increased number of children was beyond the level and a family could afford. Sampson Lee Blair in comparing parental social capital in America with a counterpart of students in the Philippines in his article Parental Involvement and Children 's Educational Performance: A Comparison of Filipino and U.S. Parents, found that, after controlling for social and cultural control variables, parents in the Philippines were much more active in assisting their children in their education. To quote his work: "Filipino parents were also shown to spend a great deal of time with their children each week. This, in and of itself, is quite remarkable, given that the paid labor roles of many Filipino workers make it difficult for them to spend large amounts of time at home with their families. Even in terms of providing volunteer support at their children's schools, the parents were quite active. Overall, Filipino parents assisted their children with schoolwork, attended events together with their children, and volunteered more frequently at their children's schools, as compared to American parents."

Partnering and being unpartnered is introduced by the article on translating a dyadic research tool from English to Urdu in Pakistan (Urdu Translation Of The California Inventory For Family Assessment For Use In Pakistan by Amna Khalid, Far ah Qadir, Paul D. Wemer, and Robert-Jay Green). This is a remarkable feat of these authors who by all their painstaking work (following eleven steps to ensure validity and reliability) make available to future researchers a well known instrument created in the United States called California Inventory for Family Assessment (CIFA) for studies in Pakistan on the dynamics of marriage. …

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