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Family values are at the center of contemporary culture wars. Red Families v. Blue Families shows how families in different parts of the country are leading different lives. The book details surprising realities about marriage, divorce, and sexual behavior, and it will change the way people think about the culture wars.
"This fascinating and surprising book will change the way we think about the culture wars. Naomi Cahn and June Carbone reveal a series of unexpected truths about marriage, divorce, and sexual behavior in Red states and Blue states. Some highlights: College educated women are far less likely to divorce than those without college degrees. Only a quarter of evangelical teens abstain from sexual activity more than other teens. And expanding access to contraception, rather than abortion, is the best way to delay marriage and promote stable families. By using invaluable data to cut through the ideological posturing that has distorted American politics, Cahn and Carbone point us toward a less polarized future."—Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor, The New Republic
"The book's illuminating (if very technical) statistical data and dispassionate approach render it invaluable." —Publishers Weekly
"An illuminating analysis...Cahn and Carbone make a strong case for formulating family laws through the existing federalized family legal system so they are not victimized in culture wars inflamed by vote seeking politicians."—ForeWord Reviews
"Wonderful...The book is primarily a study of the way in which different family forms have emerged in different parts of the country, and the political ramifications of the polarized value systems that result. But the data it contains reveals a deep incoherence in the American government's family planning policies. —Andrew Koppelman, Balkinization
[An] important new book Whether Cahn and Carbone are right will take time and subsequent scholarship to learn; but their story is both plausible and sobering. Plausible, because it brings so many aspects of the culture wars into sharper focus. Sobering, because the economic and cultural forces battering traditional family norms show no signs of abating—but the new, education-centered pathway to adulthood is often least accessible to those who need it most. —Jonathan Rauch, National Journal
"Provocative." —The Week
"Cahn and Carbone argue that family law in the United States has been increasingly polarized...They conclude that as a result family law has been rent in two, and they seek to find places where these different family systems still overlap, allowing identification of a new family model geared for the postindustrial economy."—Law & Social Inquiry
"An insightful companion to any intellectual debate about the political, legal and cultural divide in our country today...The book is both fascinating to read and fast paced, leaving you hooked from beginning to end. Whatever your position on the issues presented in the book, you will walk away well informed about the political and legal divisions that have resulted in a culture divide in our country today, will be well versed in critical issues bubbling at the top of the family law agenda, popular culture, federalism and law and science issues that are the forefront today."—Law and Politics Book Review
Pt. 1 Family Maps
1 Moral Demography 19
2 Sexual History 33
3 The Age of Division 47
4 Personality, Politics, and Religion 60
Pt. 2 The Legal Map
5 Contraception: Securing the Pathways to Blue Family Life 77
6 Abortion, Law and the Cognitive Map 92
7 The Irrationality of Adolescence: What the Adults Are Really Fighting Over 106
8 The Marrying Laws 117
9 Custody and Compromise 139
Pt. 3 The Map to the Future
10 Marriage Advice in Shades of Pink 155
11 Making Ready for Baby: Painting the Nursery Sky Blue 170
12 Work and Family: Retooling the Foundation in Deep Purple 190
Posted February 14, 2010
This is an important and timely book. It convincingly explores the intersection of culture, law and family policy and illuminates the differing visions of family that underlie many of our nation's ongoing culture wars. The authors show how the political and legal clashes produced by these divisions have exacerbated economic and racial inequalities and undermined our nation's ability to provide for those most in need. In the final portion of the book the authors offer proposals for middle ground solutions that hold the promise of bridging these cultural collisions and rebuilding shared understandings of family.
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Posted July 4, 2010
Posted February 18, 2012
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