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ERIC Number: EJ838639
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0895-4852
Family Textbooks Twelve Years Later
Glenn, Norval D.
Academic Questions, v22 n1 p79-90 Mar 2009
In 1996 the author conducted an intensive study of twenty current family textbooks published in the United States, the results of which appeared in an academic journal article and a nonacademic report in 1997. The study included practical "functionalist" marriage and family textbooks and more academic sociology of the family books; these works comprised nearly all such works in print for which copies were obtainable. The journal article attracted little attention, but the report, issued and distributed by the Institute for American Values, received extensive media coverage--including in the "New York Times"--and evoked angry, intemperate responses from many feminists and progressives who felt it was an attack on their values. In fact, the standards used to evaluate the books were not based on conservative ideology but rather on widely accepted academic standards of integrity, balance, accuracy, and intellectual rigor. Nevertheless, the report may have generated more heat than light, and much of the discussion the report stimulated did not even deal with the substantive issues it covered. The author has often wondered if either the report or the article had any appreciable effect on the content of family textbooks published since 1997. In this article, the author conducts a follow-up to his 1996 study. In this assessment of a selection of current textbooks he focuses mainly on whether the books have improved--speculating briefly on possible reasons why--and in what respects. Seven current family textbooks were chosen by the author to review, five of which are updated editions of books evaluated in 1996. These include the textbook he considered to be the best of the twenty studied and one of the worst. The remaining two consist of a seventh edition of a textbook not included in his original study and a first edition published in 2005. (Contains 11 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States