Divided We Fall: Family Discord And the Fracturing of America

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Transaction Publishers - 191 Seiten
In the weeks that followed the horror of September 11, politicians of both major parties resolutely asserted America's national unity. Barely four years later, the illusions of the rhetoric of unity have given way to the divisive oversimplifications of Red vs. Blue electoral cartography. Divided We Fall: Family Discord and the Fracturing of America offers a more nuanced yet more disturbing picture of American disunity, a disunity both social and political, both public and personal. Deeper than the disagreements that separate voter from voter, this disunity increasingly separates man from woman, husband from wife, parent from child, grandparent from grandchild, and sibling from sibling.

Though the national turmoil in family life has unquestionably opened new divides in political life (on the questions of abortion and gay marriage, for instance), this analysis explores the bewildering cross-cutting tensions surrounding these fissures. The search for ways to bridge such fissures takes on particular urgency because of the mounting costs of family disintegration--social and legal, cultural and psychological. Because they recognize the often-desperate plight of single mothers and their children, policymakers have often worked together in bipartisan fashion to intensify government efforts to collect child support from non-custodial fathers, to place abused children in foster care, and to provide shelter for the family fragments on the street.

But these pragmatic government responses to pressing social needs are no substitute for deeper probing into the cultural causes of these needs. Indeed, as the author probes those causes--including the erosion of the home economy, of restraints on sexual conduct, and of the traditional family wage--he warns that continued reliance on government to compensate for family failure will make matters worse in the long run. While family failure puts ever more burdens on government, this investigation shows how such failure withers the selfless civic impulses that sustain any healthy government.

Bryce Christensen is assistant professor of composition in the English Department of Southern Utah University. He is the author of Utopia Against the Family and many articles on cultural and literary issues in various scholarly journals.

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Inhalt

Divided We Fall Family Strife in Americas Second Civil War
1
Friendly Fire in the War on Terror? The Bewildering Tactics of Americas AntiFamily Ideologues
17
DeadBeat Dads or Fleeced Fathers? The Strange Politics of Child Support
41
Fostering Confusion The Real FosterCare Crisis
57
Homeless America Why Has America Lost Its Homemakers?
73
Queer Demand? Why Homosexuals Began Demanding What Marriage Had Become
91
The End of Patriotism Family Tumult in the Seedbed of the State
109
A New Fable of the Bees Americas FamilyFailure Economy
129
Taking off the RoseColored Glasses Post911 Sobriety as a Basis for Healthier Family Life
147
Turning Back the Clock Should America Try to Recover Lost Family Strengths?
165
Index
183
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Seite 168 - ... that promotes the convenience of life, to a perfection which our ancestors would have thought magical, have produced a literature which may boast of works not inferior to the noblest which Greece has bequeathed to us, have discovered the laws which regulate the motions of the heavenly bodies, have speculated with exquisite subtilty on the operations of the human mind, have been the acknowledged leaders of the human race in the career of political improvement.
Seite 132 - In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex.
Seite 174 - This grave dissociation of past and present is the generic fact of our time and the cause of the suspicion, more or less vague, which gives rise to the confusion characteristic of our present-day existence. We feel that we actual men have suddenly been left alone on the earth; that the dead did not die in appearance only but effectively; that they can no longer help us. Any remains of the traditional spirit have evaporated. Models, norms, standards are no use to us. We have to solve our problems...
Seite 2 - What is more subtle than this which ties me to the woman or man that looks in my face? Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you?
Seite 111 - Rawls' theory, like so many other theories of obligation, in the end must take out a loan not only on the natural duty of parents to care for children...
Seite 80 - The correct place of the woman is within; the correct place of the man is without. That man and woman have their proper places is the greatest concept in nature.

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