Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
This first of a three-volume project focuses on recent feminist research in the natural, behavioral, and social sciences; health and medicine; economics; linguistics; political sciences; and the law. Articles generally provide a definition, historical overview, and current research findings. No single feminist theory is dominant; issues are not politicized. Although the format precludes lengthy analysis, most articles provide selected references. All articles are signed. This is an excellent resource for beginning students as well as for researchers new to a field. It provides easy access to topics which generally are dispersed, not directed to women's concerns, or simply not available at all (e.g., comparable worth, women in prison, agoraphobia). Highly recommended.-- Frada L. Mozenter, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte Lib. correction: Gene Walden's The 100 Best Stocks To Own in America, reviewed in LJ 5/15/89, will be distributed by Longman, not by Gale. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
More a collection of position statements than an encyclopedia, as that term is generally understood. The editor's introduction identifies some of the major problems: "partial and incomplete. . ., overconcentration of articles in some areas and gapping omissions in others. . . .The bibliographic apparatus is therefore very limited. . . .Most articles are limited just to the United States. . . .The lack of a uniform feminist perspective. . .the lack of uniformity of organization. . . Cross-references have been reduced to a minimum." When one adds to that litany considerable evidence of poor editorial control and quixotic indexing, it is difficult to welcome this volume, let alone its two planned companions. Their areas of coverage are not stated. This volume, subtitled "A View from the Sciences," ranges sporadically through "fields that can be considered, in some, sense, as science': natural, behavioral, and social sciences, health and medicine, economics, linguistics, political and legal sciences" (introd.). The 247 articles, which range from one sentence to four pages in length, are written for an educated user who is not a specialist on the topic of the article. Articles are signed, unless written by the editor; 121 contributors, virtually all US academics, are listed. The overall aim was "a reference tool that includes the results of feminist research on women from various academic perspectives"; yet in a view from the sciences there is no article headed "Biology" and no reference this reviewer could find to the important collection Women Look at Biology Looking at Women (CH, Mar'80). Nor are there articles on women in the sciences, but there are articles on teaching and librarianship. The two-sentence article "Feminism" ends with references to seven specialized feminisms, but omits the article "Radical Feminism." From "Divorce" there is a reference to "No-Fault Divorce," but the articles give different dates for the California law and different numbers of states to adopt the idea. "Sexually Transmitted Diseases" cites a master's thesis on chlamydia trachomatis, but the article on that condition has no references at all. There are no entries under personal names, but some personal names appear in the index. Frances Perkins is indexed (p. 259) as the first woman cabinet member, but the first congresswoman, woman senator, and Supreme Court Justice are not indexed from the same article, p. 258. Many entries are useful summaries of research, as promised: the economics articles are the most consistently factual and "encyclopedia-like." Too many articles end with platitudes or pious hopes: "Most men and women continue to depend on their friends, relatives, and lovers. . ." (Dependency); "However, most women whose children have left home find they are happier than they have been in years" (Empty Nest Syndrome); ". . .as more high school girls realize that mathematics is vital to their futures, the gap in test scores should gradually close" (Math Anxiety). Ideally, this volume should be recalled and the whole encyclopedia rethought, reedited, and really indexed. Realistically, it will be bought, shelved, cited in student papers, and forgotten, perhaps to be rediscovered by future scholars as a period miscellany of some received wisdom on its scattering of topics. -V. Clark, Choice