Michael J. Rosenfeld offers a new theory of family dynamics to account for the interesting and startling changes in marriage and family composition in the United States in recent years. His argument revolves around the independent life stage that emerged around 1960. This stage is experienced by young adults after they leave their parents’ homes but before they settle down to start their own families. During this time, young men and women go away to college, travel abroad, begin careers, and enjoy social independence. This independent life stage has reduced parental control over the dating practices and mate selection of their children and has resulted in a sharp rise in interracial and same-sex unions—unions that were more easily averted by previous generations of parents.
Complementing analysis of newly available census data from the entire twentieth century with in-depth interviews that explore the histories of families and couples, Rosenfeld proposes a conceptual model to explain many social changes that may seem unrelated but that flow from the same underlying logic. He shows, for example, that the more a relationship is transgressive of conventional morality, the more likely it is for the individuals to live away from their family and area of origin.
Shari’a, the framework of Islamic rules and norms, governs many aspects of human behavior. The contributors to Applying Shari’a in the West examine in depth how Muslims in the West shape their normative behavior on the basis of Shari’a and how Western societies and legal systems react thereto. With its explicit focus on social and family relations, these country and thematic studies provide a timely overview of the current state of Shari’a and outline aspects of possible future developments, studies, and policies.
Carol Weisbrod uses a variety of stories to raise important questions about how society, through law, defines relationships in the family. Beginning with a story most familiar from the opera Madame Butterfly, Weisbrod addresses issues such as marriage, divorce, parent-child relations and abuses, and non-marital intimate contact. Each chapter works with fiction or narratives inspired by biography or myth, ranging from the Book of Esther to the stories of Kafka. Weisbrod frames the book with running commentary on variations of the Madame Butterfly story, showing the ways in which fiction better expresses the complexities of intimate lives than does the language of the law.
Butterfly, the Bride looks at law from the outside, using narrative to provide a fresh perspective on the issues of law and social structure---and individual responses to law. This book thoroughly explores relationships between inner and public lives by examining what is ordinarily classified as the sphere of private life---the world of family relationships.
Carol Weisbrod is Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut. Her other books include The Boundaries of Utopia and Emblems of Pluralism.
Drawing on Anger: Portraits of U.S. Hypocrisy is a collection of Eric J. García’s most unabashed political cartoons about U.S. history and politics from 2004 to the present. They offer a scathing indictment of Republicans, Democrats, and the self-proclaimed greatest country on earth. Garcia reconstructs pivotal moments in history—such as U.S. complicity in the disappearance of forty-three Mexican students, genocide and torture in Iraq, and femicide along the U.S.—Mexico border—and reflects on the larger themes of anti-immigration laws, global imperialism, veterans affairs, and the conquest of the Americas. His cartoons are equally critical of both political parties and of both the United States and Mexico–lobbing criticism and satire in every direction.
For over a decade García has been serving up inked visuals with the sharpest of political critiques through a Chicano lens. If you’re looking for funny punch lines, these aren’t the cartoons for you. But if you want to pull down Uncle Sam’s pants and see what’s really going on, this is your book.
Edwardian Stories of Divorce
Harris, Janice H Rutgers University Press, 1996 Library of Congress PR808.D58H37 1996 | Dewey Decimal 306.89094109041
Much as abortion in the United States today is a contentious issue used for scripting women's roles and potential into the national agenda, divorce was an issue dividing England in the Edwardian era. According to Janice Harris, anything and everything, from illicit sex and family values to the Garden of Eden, wrath of children, poverty of women, nature of cruelty, scandal of America, threat of Germany, and future of England were part of the debate over divorce. Living under marriage laws far more restrictive than those of their Protestant neighbors, Edwardian women and men campaigned for reform with a barrage of compelling stories. Organizing her analysis around three major sources of narrative on divorce––the Sunday papers, the Report of the Royal Commission on Divorce and Matrimonial causes, and the novel––Harris uncovers a war of words and a competition of tales. In raising questions about the winners, losers, and spoils, Harris expands our understanding of the history of divorce, the wars between the sexes, and the political import of those wars.
In the end, she presents a complex and lively story herself, one that illuminates battles over marriage and divorce taking place in our own era as well. This humane book on a long-neglected subject marks an important contribution to narrative studies and Edwardian history.
Declared dead some twenty-five years ago, the idea of freedom of contract has enjoyed a remarkable intellectual revival. In The Fall and Rise of Freedom of Contract leading scholars in the fields of contract law and law-and-economics analyze the new interest in bargaining freedom. The 1970s was a decade of regulatory triumphalism in North America, marked by a surge in consumer, securities, and environmental regulation. Legal scholars predicted the “death of contract” and its replacement by regulation and reliance-based theories of liability. Instead, we have witnessed the reemergence of free bargaining norms. This revival can be attributed to the rise of law-and-economics, which laid bare the intellectual failure of anticontractarian theories. Scholars in this school note that consumers are not as helpless as they have been made out to be, and that intrusive legal rules meant ostensibly to help them often leave them worse off. Contract law principles have also been very robust in areas far afield from traditional contract law, and the essays in this volume consider how free bargaining rights might reasonably be extended in tort, property, land-use planning, bankruptcy, and divorce and family law. This book will be of particular interest to legal scholars and specialists in contract law. Economics and public policy planners will also be challenged by its novel arguments.
Contributors. Gregory S. Alexander, Margaret F. Brinig, F. H. Buckley, Robert Cooter, Steven J. Eagle, Robert C. Ellickson, Richard A. Epstein, William A. Fischel, Michael Klausner, Bruce H. Kobayashi, Geoffrey P. Miller, Timothy J. Muris, Robert H. Nelson, Eric A. Posner, Robert K. Rasmussen, Larry E. Ribstein, Roberta Romano, Paul H. Rubin, Alan Schwartz, Elizabeth S. Scott, Robert E. Scott, Michael J. Trebilcock
In the wake of vast social and economic changes, the nuclear family has lost its dominance, both as an ideal and in practice. Some welcome this shift, while others see civilization itself in peril—but few move beyond ideology to develop a nuanced understanding of how families function in society. In this provocative book, Margaret F. Brinig draws on research from a variety of disciplines to offer a distinctive study of family dynamics and social policy.
Concentrating on legal reform, Brinig examines a range of subjects, including cohabitation, custody, grandparent visitation, and domestic violence. She concludes that conventional legal reforms and the social programs they engender ignore social capital: the trust and support given to families by a community. Traditional families generate much more social capital than nontraditional ones, Brinig concludes, which leads to clear rewards for the children. Firmly grounded in empirical research, Family, Law, and Community argues that family policy can only be effective if it is guided by an understanding of the importance of social capital and the advantages held by families that accrue it.
Family Law Matters
Katherine O'Donovan Pluto Press, 1993 Library of Congress KD750.O38 1993 | Dewey Decimal 346.42015
Family Law Reimagined
Jill Elaine Hasday Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress KF505.H39 2014 | Dewey Decimal 346.73015
This is the first book to explore the canonical narratives, stories, examples, and ideas that legal decisionmakers invoke to explain family law and its governing principles. Jill Elaine Hasday shows how this canon misdescribes the reality of family law, misdirects attention away from actual problems family law confronts, and misshapes policies.
This book is the first systematic account of the law and economics of the family. It explores the implications of economics for family law--divorce, adoption, breach of promise, surrogacy, prenuptial agreements, custody arrangements--and its limitations.
Before a family forms, prospective partners engage in a kind of market activity that involves searching and bargaining, for which the economic analysis of contract law provides useful insights. Once a couple marries, the individuals become a family and their decisions have important consequences for other parties, especially children. As a result, the state and community have vital interests in the family.
Although it may be rational to breach a contract, pay damages, and recontract when a better deal comes along, this practice, if applied to family relationships, would make family life impossible--as would the regular toting up of balances between the partners. So the book introduces the idea of covenant to consider the role of love, trust, and fidelity, concepts about which economic analysis and contract law have little to offer, but feminist thought has a great deal to add. Although families do break up, children of divorce are still bound to their parents and to each other in powerful ways.
Table of Contents:
I. Markets in Family Relationships 2. Courtship: The Marriage Market 3. Becoming Parents
II. The Family as Firm 4. Husband and Wife 5. Parent and Child
III. Families in Disequilibrium and the Family Franchise 6. Families in Transition: Between Firm and Franchise 7. Winding Up the Firm: The Family Franchise 8. The Role of Law Reform
In many regions of the world, rights guaranteed under the civil law, including rights to gender equality within marriage and rights in the distribution of family property and child custody upon divorce, are in conflict with the principles of religious law. Women’s rights issues are often at the heart of these tensions, which present pressing challenges for theorists, lawyers, and policymakers. This anthology brings together leading scholars and activists doing innovative work in Jewish law, Muslim law, Christian law, and African customary law. Using examples drawn from a variety of nations and religions, they interrogate the utility of recent theoretical models for engaging with gender and multicultural conflicts, explore contextual differences, and analyze and celebrate stories of successful initiatives that have transformed legal and cultural norms to improve women’s lives.
When he settled in Mexican Texas in 1832 and began courting Anna Raguet, Sam Houston had been separated from his Tennessee wife Eliza Allen for three years, while having already married and divorced his Cherokee wife Tiana and at least two other Indian "wives" during the interval. Houston’s political enemies derided these marital irregularities, but in fact Houston’s legal and extralegal marriages hardly set him apart from many other Texas men at a time when illicit and unstable unions were common in the yet-to-be-formed Lone Star State.In this book, Mark Carroll draws on legal and social history to trace the evolution of sexual, family, and racial-caste relations in the most turbulent polity on the southern frontier during the antebellum period (1823–1860). He finds that the marriages of settlers in Texas were typically born of economic necessity and that, with few white women available, Anglo men frequently partnered with Native American, Tejano, and black women. While identifying a multicultural array of gender roles that combined with law and frontier disorder to destabilize the marriages of homesteaders, he also reveals how harsh living conditions, land policies, and property rules prompted settling spouses to cooperate for survival and mutual economic gain. Of equal importance, he reveals how evolving Texas law reinforced the substantial autonomy of Anglo women and provided them material rewards, even as it ensured that cross-racial sexual relationships and their reproductive consequences comported with slavery and a regime that dispossessed and subordinated free blacks, Native Americans, and Tejanos.
Like many gentlemen of his time, Charles Darwin married his first cousin. In fact, marriages between close relatives were commonplace in nineteenth-century England, and Adam Kuper argues that they played a crucial role in the rise of the bourgeoisie. This groundbreaking study brings out the connection between private lives, public fortunes, and the history of imperial Britain.
The rise in divorce, cohabitation, single parenthood, and same-sex partnerships, along with an increase in surrogacy, adoption, and assisted reproductive technologies, has led to many diverse configurations of families, or intimate associations. J. Herbie DiFonzo and Ruth C. Stern chart these trends over the past several decades and investigate their social, legal, and economic implications.
Drawing upon a wealth of social science data, they show that, by a number of measures, children of married parents fare better than children in a household formed by cohabiting adults. This is not to condemn nontraditional families, but to point out that society and the law do not yet adequately provide for their needs. The authors applaud the ways in which courts and legislatures are beginning to replace rigid concepts of marriage and parenthood with the more flexible concept of “functional” family roles. In the conclusion, they call for a legal system that can adapt to the continually changing reality of family life.
Legislating the French Family examines family law reform in France from the foundation of the Third Republic in 1870 to the aftermath of World War I in 1920. Combining literary and historical approaches, Jean Elisabeth Pedersen provides a unique perspective on the political culture of modern France, analyzing French "problem" plays and their reception both as a measure of public opinion and as a force for social change. This new approach reveals the complex cultural narratives within, against, and in spite of which feminists, journalists, medical experts, playwrights, and politicians contended. Pedersen’s work demonstrates how republican political debates over divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and birth control both provoked and responded to larger arguments about the meanings of French citizenship, national identity, and imperial expansion. She argues that these debates complicated the idea of French citizenship, exposed the myth of the supposedly ungendered individual citizen, and reveal to us the intricate intersections among conflicts over family law, sexual politics, class structure, religious belief, republican citizenship, national identity, and imperial policy.
Vider uncovers how LGBTQ people reshaped domestic life in the postwar United States.
From the Stonewall riots to the protests of ACT UP, histories of queer and trans politics have almost exclusively centered on public activism. In The Queerness of Home, Stephen Vider turns the focus inward, showing that the intimacy of domestic space has been equally crucial to the history of postwar LGBTQ life.
Beginning in the 1940s, LGBTQ activists looked increasingly to the home as a site of connection, care, and cultural inclusion. They struggled against the conventions of marriage, challenged the gendered codes of everyday labor, reimagined domestic architecture, and contested the racial and class boundaries of kinship and belonging. Retelling LGBTQ history from the inside out, Vider reveals the surprising ways that the home became, and remains, a charged space in battles for social and economic justice, making it clear that LGBTQ people not only realized new forms of community and culture for themselves—they remade the possibilities of home life for everyone.
Red Eagle’s Children presents the legal proceedings in an inheritance dispute that serves as an unexpected window on the intersection of two cultural and legal systems: Creek Indian and Euro-American.
Case 1299: Weatherford vs. Weatherford et al. appeared in the Chancery Court of Mobile in 1846 when William “Red Eagle” Weatherford’s son by the Indian woman Supalamy sued his half siblings fathered by Weatherford with two other Creek women, Polly Moniac and Mary Stiggins, for a greater share of Weatherford’s estate. While the court recognized William Jr. as the son of William Sr., he nevertheless lost his petition for inheritance due to the lack of legal evidence concerning the marriage of his biological mother to William Sr. The case, which went to the Alabama Supreme Court in 1851, provides a record of an attempt to interrelate and, perhaps, manipulate differences in cultures as they played out within the ritualized, arcane world of antebellum Alabama jurisprudence.
Although the case has value in the classic mold of salvage ethnography of Creek Indian culture, Red Eagle’s Children, edited by J. Anthony Paredes and Judith Knight, shows that its more enduring value lies in being a source for historical ethnography—that is, for anthropological analyses of cultural dynamics of the past
events that complement the narratives of professional historians.
David I. Durham / Robbie Ethridge / Judith
Knight / J. Anthony Paredes / Paul M. Pruitt
Jr. / Nina Gail Thrower / Robert Thrower /
Gregory A. Waselkov
Mary Ann Glendon offers a comparative and historical analysis of rapid and profound changes in the legal system beginning in the 1960s in England, France, West Germany, Sweden, and the United States, while bringing new and insightful interpretation and critical thought to bear on the explosion of legislation in the last decade.
"Glendon is generally acknowledged to be the premier comparative law scholar in the area of family law. This volume, which offers an analytical survey of the changes in family law over the past twenty-five years, will burnish that reputation. Essential reading for anyone interested in evaluating the major changes that occurred in the law of the family. . . . [And] of serious interest to those in the social sciences as well."—James B. Boskey, Law Books in Review
"Poses important questions and supplies rich detail."—Barbara Bennett Woodhouse, Texas Law Review
"An impressive scholarly documentation of the legal changes that comprise the development of a conjugally-centered family system."—Debra Friedman, Contemporary Sociology
"She has painted a portrait of the family in which we recognize not only ourselves but also unremembered ideological forefathers. . . . It sends our thoughts out into unexpected adventures."—Inga Markovits, Michigan Law Review