As divorce rates rise, family mediation represents an alternative way of making settlements without involving an already overburdened judicial system. This book presents a discussion of the current North American trends in the burgeoning field of family mediation by featuring both a review of the literature and a model for family mediation practice. The practice model presented here, Therapeutic Family Mediation, stresses an ecological perspective, and considers the feminist critique of the mediation process. The authors also address mediation's role in the important issues of joint custody, ethnicity, and child protection. Future directions in family mediation are examined in the final part.

Family Mediation and Ethnicity: A Critical but Neglected Dimension of Practice

Family Mediation and Ethnicity: A Critical but Neglected Dimension of Practice

Family mediation and ethnicity: A critical but neglected dimension of practice


The size of the population of divorcing couples in North America (see chapters 2 and 3) is such that we can take for granted diversity among those who seek mediation service. In most of the mediation literature, however, such diversity is assumed to vary in circumscribed ways, around a common mean centered on white, middle-class couples. Accordingly, it is widely seen as reasonable to talk about mediation clients in generic terms. Although appropriate to many clients, such talk ignores systematic sources of variation, notably ethnicity.

Ethnicity may be defined as membership in a “human group that entertains a ‘subjective belief’ in its common descent because ...

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