9780199916597 e-book 9780199916580 (hardback)
"There was a time when the phrase "American family" conjured up a single, specific image: a breadwinner dad, a homemaker mom, and their 2.5 kids living comfortable lives in a middle-class suburb. Today, that image has been shattered, due in part to skyrocketing divorce rates, single parenthood, and increased out-of-wedlock births. But whether it is conservatives bewailing the wages of moral decline and women's liberation, or progressives celebrating the result of women's greater freedom and changing sexual mores, most Americans fail to identify the root factor driving the changes: economic inequality that is remaking the American family along class lines. In Marriage Markets, June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, co-authors of the acclaimed Red Families v. Blue Families, examine how macroeconomic forces are transforming our most intimate and important spheres, and how working class and lower income families have paid the highest price. Just like health, education, and seemingly every other advantage in life, a stable two-parent home has become a luxury that only the well-off can afford. The best educated and most prosperous have the most stable families, while working class families have seen the greatest increase in relationship instability. Why is this so? This book offers a new answer: it is due to the economics of marriage markets, and of how men and women match up when they search for a life partner. For instance, when eligible (i.e., desirable and marriageable) men outnumber eligible women, the marriage and marital stability rates are significantly higher than when the reverse situation occurs - the exact situation we have in America today. The failure to see marriage as a market affected by supply and demand has obscured any meaningful analysis of the way that societal changes influence culture. Only policies that redress the balance between men and women through greater access to education, stable employment, and opportunities for social mobility can a culture that encourages commitment and investment in family life. A rigorous and enlightening account of why American families have changed so much in recent decades, Marriage Markets cuts through the ideological and moralistic rhetoric that drives our current debate and offers real insight into-and solutions for-a problem that will haunt America for generations to come"-- Provided by publisher.
Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2014. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Section I: The Puzzles of Today's Families Chapter 1: Changing Families Chapter 2: The New Foundations for Family Life: The Disappearance of the Center and the Emergence of Marriage As a Marker of Class Chapter 3: Not Blaming the Victim: Derailed by Moynihan Chapter 4: Blaming the Victim: The Morality Tale Chapter 5: Getting Closer: The Rediscovery of Marriage Markets Section II: The New Terms Chapter 6: The Heart of the Matter Chapter 7: Where the Men Are Chapter 8: Remaking Class Barriers: Children and Achievement Chapter 9: The Recreation of Class Section III: Legalizing Inequality: The Class Divide in the Meaning of Family Law Chapter 10: The Law: Rewriting the Marital Script Chapter 11: Shared Parenting: Egalitarian, Patriarchal or Both? Section IV: Rebuilding Community: Inequality, Class, and Family Chapter 12: Rebuilding From the Top Down: The Family, Inequality and Employment Chapter 13: Rebuilding from the Bottom up: Addressing Children's Needs. Chapter 14: Sex, Power, Patriarchy and Parental Obligation Chapter 15: The Rebirth of Community and the Family.
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Print version: Carbone, June. Marriage markets : how inequality is remaking the American family. Oxford : Oxford University Press, USA,