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Chapter 14 - Family Policy for 21st Century

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Luci Nurkowski

on 26 April 2018

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Transcript of Chapter 14 - Family Policy for 21st Century

Definition of Family
Social Conservative:
Ordained by God
Building Block of Society
Nuclear family is the standard for all families
Evangelical Christian Right leads the agenda
Definition of Family - Two ideologies
Changes in Family Form include:

single parents
unmarried parents
working parents
gay families
multi-racial families
grandparents raising grandchildren
multi-generational family households
Conservatives believe the family has...
Declined due to the culture and political forces

Progressives believe that family has..
Reshaped due to Global economic restructuring
How has the family changed?
Child care subsidies
No fault divorce
Roe v. Wade
Sex Education/ Planned Parenthood
Affordable Care Act

right to choose
Government Policies
Definition of Marriage
Chapter 14 - Family Policy for 21st Century
Political, Religious, and Philosophical Ideological Differences

Two interpretations
Conservative perspective:

Against biological maternal imperative
Doctrine of 2 spheres
Cult of true womanhood
Working Women
Trends - explanations and responses


Social policies should support diverse families

Two Perspectives
believe this is due to a shift in values
Family related social trends include:
Premarital sex
Out of wedlock children
Child Care
Stem Cell Research


Socially constructed
Everyone gains when we support marriage between committed individuals
Providing benefits promotes stability
Who Are They?
Jon Stewart
Planned Parenthood
Rachel Maddow
Bernie Sanders

Fox News
Glenn Beck
Lou Dobbs
Tea Party

Newt Gingrich
Why has the family changed?

Recognize Many Family Forms
Socially Constructed by historical, contemporary social forces - like global economic restructuring
Nuclear" obscures the facts ( less than 10%)
Primarily changed due to structural changes
Progressive perspective:

Feminism = social equality
No proof of maternal instinct
Women are seeking advanced education
Two earners necessary to support family

Can only take place between a man and a woman
Conservatives :

Appalled at the breakdown of the family
Poverty is the biggest threat to family well-being and child development
Surge in women's labor is middle class phenomenon
Trends are result of industrialization
Support right to choose, divorce, sex ed and free condoms
opposed to "big government" and spending on these initiatives
believe private charity should address social problems
support and reward those who match ideal form

sex ed

universal health care

meeting the health needs of pre-schoolers

believe the changes are due to economic and social forces, including feminism, and the sexual revolution.
the definition (and legality) of marriage
Progressives argue that everyone gains from legalization
- two opposing views concerning the focus of sex education:
1. Sex Education
2. Abstinence
- In Roe v. Wade (1973)
1.2 million abortions per year, ending about 23 percent of pregnancies
Bias Against the Poor

- Legislation that prohibits public funding for abortions limits the options of the women least able to afford children
1935 to 1996 -
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
1) states administer welfare through block grants (TANF)
2) work is required within two years
3) welfare receipt is limited to a lifetime total of five years;
4) unmarried teen parents must live at home and go to school to receive assistance;
5) additional cuts were made to other federal programs that assist the poor;
6) many public benefits are denied to legal immigrants;
7) federal funding for welfare is capped with no provision for inflation or population growth.
A. Parental Leave -
C. Work-Related Policies/Gender Inequity

More than 16 million children
in the United States – 22% of all kids
live in families with incomes below
the federal poverty level –
$23,550 a year for a family of four
Poor Children at Risk - Poor children are susceptible to the following risks:
1. Infant Mortality
2. Infectious Diseases - 1/3 kids not immunized
3. Exposure to Toxic Chemicals
4. Hunger and Malnutrition
5. Educational Deficits
A sense of
moral obligation

young single mothers
special commitment to children
should be financed and organized on the federal level.
for people who cannot provide for themselves
must reflect the diversity of families
U.S. had a minimal welfare program
780,000 adults who are married to same sex spouse
2 million Americans are part of same sex partnerships
Legal nationwide since June 26, 2015, when the US Supreme Court ruled (Obergefell v. Hodges) that state-level bans are unconstitutional
Working Parents
Parental Leave
Poverty from
two perspectives
B. Child Care
What is defined as a ‘normal’ family is a social construction
Within the United States, Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004 and Vermont in 2009
Legal Services of New Jersey Poverty Research Institute (November, 2015)
Nearly 12 percent of New Jersey households didn't have enough
. Poverty was also strongly correlated with poor performance in school, as well as with poor health.
"At below 250 percent of the federal poverty line, a person

in New Jerse
experiences actual poverty because he is therefore deprived of safety, food, clothing, housing, health care, or other essentials. In other words, a family with two school-age children
would need $64,000 annually
meet basic needs, according to 2011

The report did offer some
good news: The Affordable Care Act
has helped hundreds of thousands of residents gain health insurance,
repair the safety net
, the Poverty Research Institute recommended that the government establish new
emergency-housing programs
and work to ensure more eligible residents apply for and receive
SNAP food assistance.
Poverty in
was nearly
40 percent higher
than before the
financial crisis
"Key factors contributing to entrenched poverty included
long-term unemployment
that doubled 2007 levels and ranked third-highest in the nation;
high underemploymen
t, which accounts for people who would like to work full time but can get only part-time positions; and the state's l
owest labor participation rate in 30 year
s - a sign that more and more able adults
simply aren't looking for work
39 % of NJ Children
have insufficient resources
1/3 (2.7 million) NJ Residents
grappling with income hardships cannot make ends meet
Ted Cruz
"Reproductive rights" are the
rights of individuals to decide
whether to reproduce and have reproductive health. This may include an individual's right to
plan a family
, terminate a
, use
, learn about
sex education
in public schools, and gain
access to reproductive health services.
Societal Response to Disadvantaged Children
Some societies have reduced poverty for children and parents
US has decreased elder poverty and increased child poverty
Programs like
Head Start
are documented to enhance Cognitive Ability, delay parenthood, more years of formal education, reduce future incarceration
FMLA only covers 60% of US workers
US has no Federal policy
Cost is problematic
Cultural belief that women belong at home
Many who take leaves are questioned as less committed
Conservatives: dependency, discourages working
Progressives(Safety Nets)SNAP,Medicaid,Housing
Defunding Planned Parenthood - 2.5 M. lose access to Birth Control, STD testing and more
– Strongest predictor (age at first marriage)

Most likely to occur in low income group ; Relationship between divorce and income (inverse) meaning lower income = higher
divorce rate and higher income = lower divorce rate.

Research on the relationship between divorce and family characteristics:
With children more stable than those marriages with no children
Presence of children prior to marriage increases likelihood of divorce
Biggest problem for divorced women – economic decline

No fault divorce cases are usually biased in distribution of marital property because courts assume husbands and wives are
equal, wives not compensated for years of homemaking, and men’s career assets are not considered.

Identify sources of income /financial support available for divorced women (alimony, etc.)
His and Her divorce – how the experience is different for men v. women

Effect of Stepchildren present (increases probability) of divorce in second marriage

Marriage Squeeze - Older women’s chances for remarriage decline as she gets older – why? (3 reasons : lifespan shorter for
men, older women are less desirable, and divorced men tend to choose younger women)

Complex Stepfamilies – both adults bring kids with them

Single Households – Person living alone is most dramatically increased type of household since 1960 – Why? Elderly
population increasing, choice before marriage, postponement of marriage, divorced, widows, etc.

5 Global trends in family

Transnational mothering
– why is this a difficult adaptation? Mothers leave domestic roles to become breadwinners, experience
guilt and criticism for their actions, can no longer be caretakers of their own children.

Characteristics of
commuter couples
/ those in commuter marriages – (compartmentalize, may experience loneliness, both
partners have professional employment)

Conservative and progressive
understandings of families, especially as related to topics covered in class. Compare US to other countries in regard to public policy issues relevant to working parents (parental leave and child care) and our high rate of child

top 10 Con:
progressive org:
What is "Family Policy"?
Specific measure taken by government to support, encourage or discourage particular outcomes.
Policy = Objectives + Measure taken to achieve them
Four functions : family creation, economic support, childrearing, caregiving
Compared to most modern countries, US has almost no policies to support families
If we have the resources and the will, what steps should we take as a society to sustain and nourish families?
( 2013) cited reasons poor kids fall behind:
Less reading/Cognitive stimulation @ home
Experiences are limited ( museums, camps, zoos)
Less likely to have computers/ technology @ home
Language @ home may not be English
They attend inferior schools
Super Poor

20.5 million Americans, or 6.7% of the US population, make up the poorest poor.

Those at 50% or less of the official poverty level of $24,600/family of 4
Two Ideologies = Two Definitions
According to the Census, 13.5% of the U.S. lives in poverty.
is not only a symptom of
economic inequality
, but a tool that is used to maintain
economic and political inequality

People who possess great
, also have the luxury of exercising great political

Same Sex Marriage
The Government’s Limits on the Definition of Marriage – including same sex marriage and civil unions

Family Planning/ Government and Reproductive Rights

which includes sex education, abortion and contraception

Helping the Impoverished/Welfare

Child Poverty / Meeting the Needs of Disadvantaged Children
– i
ncluding comparisons to other countries

Working Parents
which includes Parental Leave, Child Care and Gender inequality

Majority are mothers, in their 20's and earlier than 24 weeks
2020 Census will ask same sex question for the first time
Full transcript