Defiant Dads: Fathers' Rights Activists in America

Defiant Dads: Fathers' Rights Activists in America

by Jocelyn Elise Crowley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801446902

ISBN-13: 9780801446900

Pub. Date: 10/28/2008

Publisher: Cornell University Press

All across America, angry fathers are demanding rights. These men claim that since the breakdown of their own families, they have been deprived of access to their children. Joining together to form fathers' rights groups, the mostly white, middle-class men meet in small venues to speak their minds about the state of the American family and, more specifically, to

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Overview

All across America, angry fathers are demanding rights. These men claim that since the breakdown of their own families, they have been deprived of access to their children. Joining together to form fathers' rights groups, the mostly white, middle-class men meet in small venues to speak their minds about the state of the American family and, more specifically, to talk about the problems they personally face, for which they blame current child support and child custody policies. Dissatisfied with these systems, fathers' rights groups advocate on behalf of legal reforms that will lower their child support payments and help them obtain automatic joint custody of their children.

In Defiant Dads, Jocelyn Elise Crowley offers a balanced examination of these groups in order to understand why they object to the current child support and child custody systems; what their political agenda, if enacted, would mean for their members' children or children's mothers; and how well they deal with their members' interpersonal issues concerning their ex-partners and their role as parents. Based on interviews with more than 150 fathers' rights group leaders and members, as well as close observation of group meetings and analysis of their rhetoric and advocacy literature, this important book is the first extensive, in-depth account of the emergence of fathers' rights groups in the United States. A nuanced and timely look at an emerging social movement, Defiant Dads is a revealing investigation into the changing dynamics of both the American family and gender relations in American society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801446900
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
10/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

1 A Coming Revolution in Fathers' Rights? 1

2 The Origins of Fathers' Rights Groups in the United States 14

3 Membership Dynamics in Fathers' Rights Groups 39

4 Becoming the Chief: Patterns of Leadership and Governance in Fathers' Rights Groups 76

5 Money Changes Everything, or American Child Support Policy 107

6 The Custody Wars 145

7 Frayed Ties: Fathers' Relationships with Mothers 174

8 The Ties That Bind: Fathers' Relationships with Their Children 212

9 "Crooked Trees," Activism, and Healing in Dissolved Families 247

Appendix A Research Methodology 271

Appendix B Unstructured Interview Guide 276

Appendix C No-Fault Divorce Legislation Dates, by State 279

Appendix D Number, Rate, and Percent of Births to Unmarried Women and Birthrate for Married Women: United States, 1950-2003 280

References 283

Index 301

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