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.
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.