Who Pays for the Kids?: Gender and the Structures of Constraint

Who Pays for the Kids?: Gender and the Structures of Constraint

by Nancy Folbre
     
 

Three paradoxes surround the division of the costs of social reproduction:
* Women have entered the paid labour force in growing numbers, but they continue to perform most of the unpaid labour of housework and childcare.
* Birth rates have fallen but more and more mothers are supporting children on their own, with little or no assistance from fathers.

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Overview

Three paradoxes surround the division of the costs of social reproduction:
* Women have entered the paid labour force in growing numbers, but they continue to perform most of the unpaid labour of housework and childcare.
* Birth rates have fallen but more and more mothers are supporting children on their own, with little or no assistance from fathers.
* The growth of state spending is often blamed on malfunctioning markets, or runaway bureaucracies. But a large percentage of social spending provides substitutes for income transfers that once took place within families.
Who Pays for the Kids? explains how this paradoxical situation has arisen. The costs of social reproduction are largely paid by women: men have remained extremely reluctant to pay their share of the costs of raising the next generation. Traditional theories - neo-classical, Marxist and Feminist - can only provide an incomplete account of this, and this book offers an alternative analysis, based on individual choices but within interlocking structures of constraint based on gender, age, sex, nation, race and class.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415075640
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/27/1994
Series:
Economics as Social Theory Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.88(d)
Lexile:
1450L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction1
Pt. IConcepts of social reproduction
1Feminist Theory and Political Economy15
Agents17
Structures29
Identities, interests, and institutions38
2Collective Action and Structures of Constraint51
Divided loyalties and competing interests52
Natural selection and cultural evolution70
Modernizations, reforms, and revolutions81
3The Persistence of Patriarchal Power91
The expansion of wage employment92
The growing cost of families104
The emergence of welfare states116
Pt. IIHistories of social reproduction
Introduction to Part II129
4Northwestern Europe132
Class, gender, and age in the transition to capitalism133
Social democracy and the European welfare state150
5The United States166
Patriarchal power and early economic development167
A family divided: Early social welfare policy183
Social insecurity: welfare policy after 1935196
6Latin America and the Caribbean211
Colonial men and patriarchal states in Latin America212
The plight of Supermadres228
7Conclusion: The Political Economy of Family Policy248
Notes263
References291
Index326

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