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

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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: 9780415075657
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Economics as Social Theory Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Figures
Tables
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
Pt. I Concepts of social reproduction
1 Feminist Theory and Political Economy 15
Agents 17
Structures 29
Identities, interests, and institutions 38
2 Collective Action and Structures of Constraint 51
Divided loyalties and competing interests 52
Natural selection and cultural evolution 70
Modernizations, reforms, and revolutions 81
3 The Persistence of Patriarchal Power 91
The expansion of wage employment 92
The growing cost of families 104
The emergence of welfare states 116
Pt. II Histories of social reproduction
Introduction to Part II 129
4 Northwestern Europe 132
Class, gender, and age in the transition to capitalism 133
Social democracy and the European welfare state 150
5 The United States 166
Patriarchal power and early economic development 167
A family divided: Early social welfare policy 183
Social insecurity: welfare policy after 1935 196
6 Latin America and the Caribbean 211
Colonial men and patriarchal states in Latin America 212
The plight of Supermadres 228
7 Conclusion: The Political Economy of Family Policy 248
Notes 263
References 291
Index 326
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