News Release: Arts and Humanities, Research, Teaching

May 4,  2009

Journal of Family Life Now Online

News Article ImageThe Journal of Family Life featured "Invisible Ranks," a photo essay portraying workers in low wage jobs and their families.

Alzheimer's effect on families, rituals of family reading and a father's relationship with his infant daughter are some of the topics addressed in the first issue of a new online journal at Emory University.

Journal of Family Life, created and produced by the Emory Center for Myth and Ritual in American Life (MARIAL) is interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed.  The journal is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The journal, a gathering place for ideas and information addressing all aspects of American family life, accepts research papers, essays, poetry and audio/video essays. Each submission is reviewed by scholars with expertise in the subject before editors decide whether to publish it. The journal is only available online and is free to the public. Contributors include professors, students, parents and observers, such as child care providers, teachers and doctors.

The journal is set to explore how families are adjusting to the sputtering economy and is currently accepting submissions on that topic. Journal of Family Life seeks first-person family stories and individual narratives that illustrate the impact of the global economic downturn on family life.

Journal editor Marshall Duke, a child psychologist and expert on adolescent resilience, says journal editors want to tap into how American families are changing in light of economic turmoil. "We are interested in stories, rather than statistics, about family budgets, unemployment, searching for work, and paying bills and the mortgage," Duke says. "We want the Journal of Family Life to be a forum for how family life has changed because of the economy."

Journal editors also are interested in historical research on what family life was like during the Depression and what it looks like now, including how the government responds. Will President Obama be the next FDR, with public works projects that put Americans back to work while building the U.S. infrastructure? How will President Obama communicate with the American public to calm jitters, yet be realistic about where we are and what sacrifices must be made?

Scholars at MARIAL began developing the Journal of Family Life a year ago. MARIAL is one of five Sloan Centers on Working Families, supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The launch and publication of the journal is made possible by the generosity of the Sloan Foundation and Emory.

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