Forgotten Families: Ending the Growing Crisis Confronting Children and Working Parents in the Global Economy / Edition 1

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"In the last half-century, radical changes have rippled through the workplace and the home from Boston to Bombay. In the face of rapid globalization, these changes affect us all, and we can no longer confine ourselves to addressing working and social conditions within our own borders without simultaneously addressing them on a global scale. Based on over a thousand in-depth interviews and survey data from more than 55,000 families spanning five continents, Forgotten Families is the first truly global account of how the changing conditions of work threaten children, women and men, and the infirm. It addresses problems faced by working families in industrialized and developing countries alike, touching on issues of child health and development, barriers to parents getting and keeping jobs, problems families confront daily and in times of crisis, and the roles of growing inequalities. Rich in individual stories and deeply human, Heymann's book proposes innovative and imaginative ideas for solving the problems of the truly belabored together as a global community.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exhaustive in scope, meticulous in detail, her book is a damning indictment of what has gone wrong during "the race to the bottom" between developing countries amid globalizing markets. The book is peppered with heartbreaking stories gleaned from surveys of more than 55,000 families, depicting a worldwide squalor in which children, if they survive infancy, are usually doomed to re-enact their parents' lives at the sweatshop.... this volume will become a valuable primary source for policy makers."—Publishers Weekly

"Jody Heymann's groundbreaking research and insights on global families are remarkable for both their breadth and their depth. Forgotten Families describes in moving detail the common experiences shared by working families everywhere, from Botswana to Vietnam to the United States. Critical issues, if left unaddressed, will threaten families, businesses and whole nations. This thorough and thoughtful volume builds a powerful case for global action on decent working conditions and basic social support for families as the cornerstone of continued economic and social progress. Heymann has sounded a wake-up call for leaders, policymakers, and citizens everywhere."—Senator Edward M. Kennedy

"At crucial time in the lives of all families, Jody Heymann has led the first global effort to examine the conditions faced by working parents and their children around the world. Extraordinary in its scope and meticulous in the research on which it is based, Forgotten Families presents the results of a landmark decade-long study of the conditions working parents and their children face from Africa to the Americas, from Asia to Europe. Heymann passionately and compellingly recounts the experiences of families and lucidly summarizes the statistics while providing a deeply thought-provoking analysis of where public policy stands and where it needs to go." —Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and former U.S. Secretary of Labor

"This book is a powerful and overdue wake-up call about the enormous challenges and awful choices working families around the world face. We can and must do better for all of our children."—Marian Wright Edelman, CEO and Founder, Children's Defense Fund

"Working families in countries around the globe are in crisis. By coupling the stories of these families with the policies and practices that determine their fates, Jody Heymann vividly links the course of individual lives to social policy. Her compelling new book on Forgotten Families points the way to effective, affordable, and comprehensive solutions."—Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, President, Institute of Medicine

"This volume accomplishes something rarely achieved in global health research: the scientifically accurate depiction of an international public health problem of great importance, and the simultaneous telling of many intimate stories of everyday life... Backed up by thousands of meticulously analyzed interviews, from carefully designed surveys of working families in several countries, Heymann tells the tale of a world gone awry for those with children to care for and raise. [E]ssential reading for those who care about our world and its future."—Dr. John Frank, Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute of Population and Public Health

Publishers Weekly
When the mountain won't come to Muhammad, sometimes the mountain must be dynamited, carted off and dropped upon him. Heymann, the founder and director of the Project on Global Working Families, worked for a decade with her research team to drop such a mountain of information on governments and global organizations in order to inspire them to enact economic reforms. Exhaustive in scope, meticulous in detail, her book is a damning indictment of what has gone wrong during "the race to the bottom" between developing countries amid globalizing markets. The book is peppered with heartbreaking stories gleaned from surveys of more than 55,000 families, depicting a worldwide squalor in which children, if they survive infancy, are usually doomed to re-enact their parents' lives at the sweatshop. The portrait is bleak, but Heymann is an optimist. Her solutions, though idealistic, are reasonable: paid maternity leave, improved before- and after-school programs for children, etc. Most readers would have found a magazine article more persuasive, as Heymann's book is burdened with statistics. But in the breadth of its research, this volume will become a valuable primary source for policy makers. (Dec.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195156591
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/1/2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jody Heymann M.D, Ph.D., holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Social Policy at McGill University where she is the founding director of a university-wide Institute for Health and Social Policy, and a Professor of Political Science and Epidemiology. The founder and director of the Project on Global Working Families at Harvard University, Heymann is also author of The Widening Gap: Why America's Working Families Are in Jeopardy and What Can Be Done About It (Basic Books, 2000), among other books.

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Table of Contents

1. Dramatic Transformations
2. Who Cares for Preschool Children?
3. School-Age Children: Getting a Chance
4. Parents' Working Conditions and Children's Health
5. Economic and Gender Inequalities
6. Families that Work in Times of Crisis
7. Addressing the Burgeoning Problems

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