If we are to recognize the complex variables at play in all criminal offenses, we will need to understand that the laws of a community, its social values, its politics, economics, and even geography play a factor in what laws are enforced and against whom they are enforced. The decision to define and label certain behaviors and certain people was based on social, political, and economic considerations of each community. Thus, the commission of murder by a woman in Arizona may have a variety of factors associated with it that are not present in the case of a woman who murdered her husband in Maine. This study, in part because of the volume of cases and in part to limit the variables affecting the cases, has limited its scope of women killers to the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is the ideal state to study because of its long and stable legal and political traditions, its historically diverse population, and the large number of newspapers that will help us gauge the public's view of women and women who kill. By limiting our scope to one state, we know that the legal definitions are fairly consistent for all of the women during a certain period and we can more easily identify the shifts in social values regarding women and homicide.
Vogel contends that the role of the professional housewife constrained Japanese middle-class women in the postwar era—and yet it empowered them as well. Precisely because of fixed gender roles, with women focusing on the home and children while men focused on work, Japanese housewives had remarkable authority and autonomy within their designated realm. Wives and mothers now have more options than their mothers and grandmothers did, but they find themselves unprepared to cope with this new era of choice. These gripping biographies poignantly illustrate the strengths and the vulnerabilities of professional housewives and of families facing social change and economic uncertainty in contemporary Japan.
The thirty-two chapters of this comparative and multi-disciplinary volume are organized into nine major themes: conceptual approaches, methodological issues, family life in the context of culture, family relationships across the family life cycle, issues of work and income, stress and conflict, family diversity, family policy and laws, and environmental setting of homes. Each chapter examines family life across Asian countries, studying cultural similarities and differences and exploring how families are changing and what trends are likely to develop in the future. To provide a fruitful learning experience for the reader, each chapter offers examples, relevant data, and a comprehensive list of references.
Offering a complete interdisciplinary overview of families in Asia, the Handbook will be of interest to students, academics, policy makers and practitioners across the disciplines of Asian Studies, Sociology, Demography, Social Work, Law, Social Policy, Anthropology, Geography, Public Health and Architecture.