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.
TFM and Cultural Diversity
To have a clear view of a topic as complex as culture or ethnicity, we need to see it from two different perspectives at the same time, that is, from the “inside” and from the “outside.” From the “inside” or subjectively, culture is generally understood as a set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors (including language) shared by a particular group of people that makes them separate and distinctive from all others (Alba, 1985; Duryea, 1992; Hofstede, 1980; Yinger, 1985). In this sense, diversity or difference is a mantle the group wears happily, often proudly. At the same time, such diversity may be imposed from without, by “outsiders” enacting a stereotype, and in so doing structurally advantaging or, ...