Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture

Hardcover | March 8, 2010

byNaomi Cahn, June Carbone

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Red Families v. Blue Families identifies a new family model geared for the post-industrial economy. Rooted in the urban middle class, the coasts and the "blue states" in the last three presidential elections, the Blue Family Paradigm emphasizes the importance of women's as well as men'sworkforce participation, egalitarian gender roles, and the delay of family formation until both parents are emotionally and financially ready. By contrast, the Red Family Paradigm--associated with the Bible Belt, the mountain west, and rural America--rejects these new family norms, viewing thechange in moral and sexual values as a crisis. In this world, the prospect of teen childbirth is the necessary deterrent to premarital sex, marriage is a sacred undertaking between a man and a woman, and divorce is society's greatest moral challenge. Yet, the changing economy is rapidly eliminatingthe stable, blue collar jobs that have historically supported young families, and early marriage and childbearing derail the education needed to prosper. The result is that the areas of the country most committed to traditional values have the highest divorce and teen pregnancy rates, fuelinggreater calls to reinstill traditional values. Featuring the groundbreaking research first hailed in The New Yorker, this penetrating book will transform our understanding of contemporary American culture and law. The authors show how the Red-Blue divide goes much deeper than this value system conflict--the Red States have increasingly said "no"to Blue State legal norms, and, as a result, family law has been rent in two. The authors close with a consideration of where these different family systems still overlap, and suggest solutions that permit rebuilding support for both types of families in changing economic circumstances.Incorporating results from the 2008 election, Red Families v. Blue Families will reshape the debate surrounding the culture wars and the emergence of red and blue America.

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Red Families v. Blue Families identifies a new family model geared for the post-industrial economy. Rooted in the urban middle class, the coasts and the "blue states" in the last three presidential elections, the Blue Family Paradigm emphasizes the importance of women's as well as men'sworkforce participation, egalitarian gender roles,...

Naomi Cahn is the John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, a Senior Fellow at the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, and a member of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project, for which she and her co-investigators have received outside funding to conduct research on public attitudes towards...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:March 8, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195372174

ISBN - 13:9780195372175

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Table of Contents

IntroductionSection I: What's the Difference? Polarization and the Regulation of Sexuality1. The Creation of Family Culture: A Historical Overview2. The Post-Industrial Economy and the Remaking of Gender3. Polarization and the Creation of Culture4. "Moral Affront" and the Red State Rebellion5. Living their Lives: Red and Blue PatternsSection II: Cultural Division and Legal Polarization6. Same-Sex Marriage and Symbolic Flashpoints7. Abstinence Education and Teen Sex8. Parental Notification, Abortion and the Division between Authority and Autonomy9. Sex, Custody, and Nuanced Moral JudgmentsSection III: Law and the Recreation of Culture?10. Are we destined to differ about sexuality?11. Pathways to Adulthood: Do we create self-replicating cultural patterns?12. Religion, Memes and Path-Dependence in the Creation of Values13. Partisanship and the Threat to Legitimacy14. Legitimacy and the Role of the CourtsSection IV: Federalism, Legitimacy and the Role of Law in Times of Polarization15. Talking With Each Other: Places of Convergence and Points of Contention16. Federalism and Categories