New Family Values: Liberty, Equality, Diversity

Overview

How many different kinds of families are there? New Family Values provides a critical analysis of those who argue that law and policy should be used to foster one model of the family -- the intact, two-parent, heterosexual family. Karen Struening argues that this position does not adequately address the problem it supposedly solves -- family dissolution -- and unnecessarily constrains personal liberty. Healthy families may be necessary for civic unity and individual stability, but there can be many different ...
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New Family Values: Liberty, Equality, Diversity

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Overview

How many different kinds of families are there? New Family Values provides a critical analysis of those who argue that law and policy should be used to foster one model of the family -- the intact, two-parent, heterosexual family. Karen Struening argues that this position does not adequately address the problem it supposedly solves -- family dissolution -- and unnecessarily constrains personal liberty. Healthy families may be necessary for civic unity and individual stability, but there can be many different kinds of families.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Marriage and Family
Streuning provides a thoughtful analysis of the positive possibilities of diverse, especially gay and lesbian families.
Timothy V. Kaufman-'sborn
Employing simple but elegant prose, Karen Struening offers an insightful critique of those who argue that the welfare of our children requires reinforcement of the traditional nuclear family. Her timely defense of nontraditional forms of the family, based on a sophisticated interpretation of the fundamental principles of liberalism, will be of interest to feminists, to lesbian and gay activists, and, indeed, to all who believe that meeting the needs of our children does not require sacrificing the needs of those who share responsibility for this most important task.
Booknews
Advocating for progressive and feminist family values, Struening (political science, Sarah Lawrence College) criticizes the "family communitarians" that base their support for the traditional nuclear family on a virtue-based political philosophy. She suggests that their position rests on a limiting of personal and individual freedoms and counters their arguments with a model of family values that emphasizes liberty, diversity, and equality. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Journal of Marriage and Family
Streuning provides a thoughtful analysis of the positive possibilities of diverse, especially gay and lesbian families.
Perspectives On Politics
Struening presents an insightful discussion of the arguments advanced by family communitarians. She summarizes their argumens cogently and presents an astute analysis of their structure.
James P. Sterba
New Family Values is an extraordinarily good book. Struening uses an impressive array of facts to convincingly argue against 'family communitarians' like Elshtain and Galston, and in favor of supporting diversity in family forms. Having just completed a survey of the relevant literature, I know that there is really nothing out there like it.
Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn
Employing simple but elegant prose, Karen Struening offers an insightful critique of those who argue that the welfare of our children requires reinforcement of the traditional nuclear family. Her timely defense of nontraditional forms of the family, based on a sophisticated interpretation of the fundamental principles of liberalism, will be of interest to feminists, to lesbian and gay activists, and, indeed, to all who believe that meeting the needs of our children does not require sacrificing the needs of those who share responsibility for this most important task.
Judith Grant
New Family Values reminds us that a certain model of the family is implicated in the policing of our sexualities, our personal freedoms, and gender itself. It is an important intervention into current debates about family values.
Lori Marso
New Family Values forcefully and persuasively argues that the ability to choose the form of our intimate associations is a fundamental right. Moreover Struening argues that family diversity contributes to the health of the greater society. This book is essential reading for all concerned with articulating why we should embrace a new form of family values for a feminist and progressive politics.
Morris B. Kaplan
Karen Struening is one of the most promising scholars working in the fields of political theory, feminism, and public policy today. . . . Her work is political and legal theory at its best: she draws on a wide range of scholarship, thinks critically, and directly addresses issues fraught with normative implications. Struening has an admirable ability to translate complex technical issues in constitutional law, public policy, and normative theory into accessible prose and lucid argumentation. Her writing is engaged without being tendentious, learned without being obscure.
Perspectives on Politics
Struening presents an insightful discussion of the arguments advanced by family communitarians. She summarizes their argumens cogently and presents an astute analysis of their structure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742512306
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition number: 240
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Struening is a guest instructor in political science at Sarah Lawrence College.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Debating Family Values 1
2 Personal Liberty and the Right of Privacy 31
3 What Are Families For? An Argument for Diversity in Family Forms 65
4 Fatherless Families and the Reassertion of the Gender-Structured Family 97
5 Do Welfare Recipients Have a Right of Privacy? A Public/Private Paradox 131
6 Feminist Family Policies: A Comparison of the Egalitarian and Caregiver Models 153
Conclusion 187
Bibliography 193
Index 207
About the Author 215
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