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Levinson's study of family violence breaks new ground by taking a global perspective of this social ill. He uses ethnographic work on 90 societies to analyse the incidence, causes and correlates of family violence. Through the use of both quantitative analysis and ethnographic description, he tests the efficacy of various current theories against world-wide family violence data. Among the author's more important conclusions are that women's economic equality and independence reduces family violence and that family violence is clearly correlated with more general violence in a society.