Family Matters No. 84 - May 2010

Book notes

The following selection of books on family-related topics are recent additions to the Institute's Library. They are available through many academic and public libraries, or can be purchased from good book shops and are often available free online. Prices are given as and when supplied.

Getting to 50/50: How working couples can have it all by sharing it all and why it's great for your marriage, your career, your kids and you.

(2009). Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober. New York: Random House.

The two authors of this book are professionals, wives and mothers who understand the challenges and rewards of two-career households. After interviewing hundreds of parents and employers, and surveying more than a thousand working mothers, the authors have discovered that children, husbands and wives all reap huge benefits when couples commit to share equally as breadwinners and caregivers. The book is divided into three parts, part one deals with why two careers are better than one; part two deals with three truths to "bust" the myths about work, women and men; and part three deals with the 50/50 solution and how to make it yours, in addition to statistics and little words of advice. Including resources and notes, this is a valuable book for anyone who wants to get ahead in their career but still have the time to go their children's sports meeting.

A guide to coping: Support for families faced with problematic drug use.

(2007). Family Drug Support and QulHN. Leura, NSW: Family Drug Support.

This resource is aimed at families who are facing the complexity of drug and alcohol issues. It not only explains the cycles of change that drug users and their families go through, but also provides information and tips on strategies for coping, building resilience and strengthening the family system. It includes stories from people who deal with drug users and from family members affected by the drug users.

Towards a more equal society? Poverty, inequality and policy since 1997.

(2009). John Hills, Tom Sefton and Kitty Stewart (Eds.). Bristol: The Policy Press.

When New Labour came to power in Britain in 1997, its leaders asked for it to be judged after 10 years on its success in making the country "a more equal society". This book asks whether the UK has indeed moved in that direction. It is divided into three parts that consider the indicators and policy areas affecting poverty, inequality and social exclusion; analyses policy developments and outcomes in relation to income inequality, education, employment, health inequalities, neighbourhoods, minority ethnic groups, children and older people; and examines issues such as migration, social attitudes, the devolved administrations, the new Equality and Human Rights Commission and future pressures. This book is essential reading for academic and student audiences and all those seeking an objective account of New Labour's achievements and failures.

Families, relationships and intimate life.

(2009). Jo Lindsay and Deborah Dempsey. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

This book explores the controversies, contradictions and broad patterns that characterise contemporary relationships and families. The key stages in life are covered: childhood, youth, partnering, parenting, and ageing, as are a range of contemporary themes relevant to families and relationships. The key concepts of the book are family, relationships, intimacy, personal life, cohabitation, ethnicity, household, globalisation and individualisation. It is a lively, accessible and comprehensive introduction to the sociology of family life. Included are critical questions and thought-provoking visual images.