Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus: Gender, Law, and Society

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Overview

"The essays in this volume confront the inroads that economics has made into the legal academy. . . . Law and Economics uses principles of neoclassical economics to develop laws and social policies that maintain if not bolster current allocations of power."—from the IntroductionThe Law and Economics school has had a significant impact on the legal and governmental landscape in the United States. It posits a perfectly rational "economic man"—homo economicus—who is unconstrained by familial and communal ties and who can and should make decisions solely in light of considerations of economic value. Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus offers a major intervention in debates about how law has come under the influence of economic principles. Drawing on the latest thinking in the fields of feminist legal theory, critical legal studies, and feminist economics, the essays critique the notion that legal and policy decisions should be made solely through the lens of economics. While the contributors question the wholesale incorporation of the neoclassical economic model into legal analysis, they do not all discard economic analysis and theory.Situated at the intersection of feminism, law, and economics, Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus will appeal to scholars and students of these disciplines as well as policy analysts and social theorists interested in family, education, labor, and welfare.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Feminism Confronts Homo Economicus is an extraordinary volume that brings together a wide selection of important essays at the intersection of feminism, law, and economics. Highly diverse in its methodological and disciplinary orientations as well as in the subject matter it addresses, this book will be of immediate and enduring interest to multiple audiences."—Teemu Ruskola, American University Law School
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801489419
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : feminism confronts homo economicus
Pt. I Law and economics and neoclassical economic theory 1
1 Economic rhetoric, economic individualism, and the law and economics school 3
2 The demoralization of economics : can we recover from Bentham and return to Smith? 20
3 Separative and soluble selves : dichotomous thinking in economics 32
Pt. II Feminism confronts neoclassical economic theory and law and economics 57
4 Playing with fire : feminist legal theorists and the tools of economics 61
5 Feminism and eutrophic methodologies 94
6 Private property, the private subject, and women : can women truly be owners of capital? 117
7 Nest eggs and stormy weather : law, culture, and black women's lack of wealth 131
8 Deconstructing the state-market divide : the rhetoric of regulation from workers' compensation to the world trade organization 147
Pt. III The costs of the free market : theories of collective responsibility and the withering away of public goods 175
9 Cracking the foundational myths : independence, autonomy, and self-sufficiency 179
10 The politics of economics in welfare reform 193
11 Deterring "irresponsible" reproduction through welfare reform 225
12 Feminist economics : implications for education 261
Pt. IV Feminism, economics, and labor 293
13 The new face of employment discrimination 297
14 Contingent labor : ideology in practice 324
15 Commodification and women's household labor 338
16 Is there agency in dependency? : expanding the feminist justifications for restructuring wage work 373
Pt. V Economics and intimacy : gendered economic roles and the regulation of intimate relationships 401
17 What do women really want? : economics, justice, and the market for intimate relationships 405
18 Can families be efficient? : a feminist appraisal 423
19 Some concerns about applying economics to family law 450
20 The business of intimacy : bridging the private-private distinction 467
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