In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Introduction to the 50th Anniversary Issue
  • Todd Martin, Managing Editor

With this issue, the Journal of Comparative Family Studies begins its 50th year of continuous publication. What began as a casual conversation between founder Dr. George Kurian and visiting Harvard scholar, Dr. Carle Zimmerman, has become a journal that has published high quality, cross cultural family research for half a century. The Journal was under the guiding hand of Kurian for all but the last year and a half. He passed away last year but not before ensuring the Journal was on a firm foundation for the next 50 years. This last year has been one of planning, strategizing and executing the revitalization of one of the world's premier family science journals. I would like say a few words about both the rich history of the Journal and the exciting future ahead.

JCFS's inception in the autumn of 1970 was the collaborative outcome of two family researchers who crossed paths in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Kurian was born in Southern India, received his PhD in Holland and taught in New Zealand before coming to Canada. Zimmerman was born in rural Missouri and was to become a founding member of Harvard University's sociology department. Kurian's career was just expanding while Zimmerman, now retired from Harvard, was nearing the end of his. Zimmerman's influence and introductory article to JCFS leant credibility to Kurian's new project.

The early years of the Journal saw many influential North American family researchers publish their works in its pages. To list just a few: William J. Goode, Harold T. Christensen, Bert Adams, James M. White, David Klein, Reuben Hill, Paul C. Glick, Murray A. Straus, and Robert F. Winch. These early names reflect the influence of male Western scholars at this time, but the list of important contributors continued to expand. To avoid the risk of leaving some names out I will simply say that the Journal has become an inclusive medium for international scholars of all genders to publish their work in comparative and cross cultural family research.

The year 2019 also bring JCFS into a new and exciting publishing and promotion partnership. Dr. George Kurian, with the support of his wife, Dr. Susannah Kurian, founded, published, marketed and edited the Journal during its early years. The Kurians remained highly involved in the running of JCFS until shortly before George's passing in 2018. The Journal has had just three main editors, Dr. George Kurian, Dr. James White and current editor, Dr. Donald Swenson. After discussing many potential publishing partnerships, the University of Toronto Press was chosen to host and publish the Journal. The move to outsourcing the production portion will allow the Journal to benefit from a higher profile while the editorial staff is able to focus on world class content. The feeling around the new partnership can best be summarized by the University of Toronto Press' media release announcing the partnership. [End Page 1]

"The Journal of Comparative Family Studies continues the vision of founder Dr. George Kurian in providing high quality, comparative and cross cultural family research. We are excited to partner with the University of Toronto Press, a world class Canadian publisher, in order to expand and grow the availability and impact of JCFS. We look forward to being better able to serve our current and future subscribers with this new partnership."—Todd Martin, Ph.D., CFLE, Managing Editor, JCFS.

"We are delighted to welcome Journal of Comparative Family Studies to the UTP Journals collection. JCFS is a vital resource in the field of family studies and will make a significant contribution to UTP's long-standing tradition of scholarly publishing excellence. We look forward to working closely with JCFS authors and sharing this crucial research with current and future readers."—Antonia Pop, Director, University of Toronto Press Journals.

As we prepare to begin the next 50 years of publications, the Journal of Comparative Family Studies is pleased to welcome an editorial team made up of both old and new members. Don Swenson and Judith Horan continue to provide editorial leadership and support while our associate editors, who provide valued reviews of new submissions, come...


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Print ISSN
pp. 1-2
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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