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 Mumbai. 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, Jody Heymann's Forgotten Families presents the first truly global account of how the changing conditions of work affect us all. Rich in individual stories and deeply human, Forgotten Families 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
"Forgotten Families excels in the often heartbreaking stories of families it recounts and from the way it uses statistics to make a stark point....The book makes visible an urgent problem that needs to be on the public policy agenda."—Work and Occupations

"The book's great contribution is the recognition that, because it takes both time and money to raise healthy children, we must distinguish the effects of time poverty from material poverty on the well being of families. From Engels until Heymann, most descriptions of poverty recognized only material deprivation."—Journal of the American Medical Association

"With the publication of Forgotten Families, business and political leaders now have no excuse for saying they don't know what's going on in the murky corners of developing economies."—Women's Review of Books

"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: 9780195335248
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/31/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (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.

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Table of Contents

1 Dramatic transformations 3
2 Who cares for preschool children? 13
3 School-age children : getting a chance 45
4 Parents' working condition and children's health 71
5 Economic and gender inequalities 113
6 Families that work in times of crisis 143
7 Addressing the burgeoning problems 187
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