FDL Book Salon Welcomes June Carbone and Naomi Cahn, Marriage Markets: How Inequality Is Remaking the American Family

By: Saturday May 17, 2014 1:59 pm

While the word “family” may still conjure up an image of a two married parents living with their 2.5 children in the suburbs, Dad heading off to work every morning while Mom takes care of the kids, this image is more myth than reality, a stubborn ideological resistance to seeing the vast transformations that have rocked American family life in recent decades. As June Carbone and Naomi Cahn demonstrate with exceptional rigor, clarity, and elegance, the white picket fences of this mythical family have been swept away by a series of economic, social, and cultural shifts that have altered the “gender bargain” at the core of the traditional family.

 

Being Unemployed Is a Miserable State

By: Saturday January 18, 2014 9:15 am

The headline isn’t mine, but it comes from one of my old college professors, Dale Mortensen, who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics. I was fortunate enough to have studied under him for several years, and among other things, he instilled in me and my classmates a strong sense that behind all the statistics, all the equations, and and all the models are real people.

Dale died last week. I just wish that more folks in DC had had him as a professor, or would be willing to listen to the wisdom of his remarks in Sweden in 2011.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Documenting Desegregation: Racial and Gender Segregation in Private-Sector Employment Since the Civil Rights Act

By: Sunday January 27, 2013 1:59 pm

The authors amass an extraordinary amount of detail in presenting their conclusions as they examine variations by region, business and decade. They consider some of the background developments comparing expanding industries with contracting ones, and new firms with old ones, showing that such factors vary in importance depending on the industry, the time period, and the impact on racial versus gender segregation.

They also provide in depth comparisons of the firms large enough to be covered by federal civil rights laws versus those exempted, and the varying effectiveness of EEOC enforcement against large firms versus oversight of federal contractors. The result provides a wealth of data for anyone interested in either the trajectory of racial and gender equality in the workplace or the effectiveness of enforcement efforts.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Arne Kalleberg, Good Jobs, Bad Jobs: The Rise of Polarized and Precarious Employment Systems in the United States, 1970s to 2000s

By: Sunday November 20, 2011 1:59 pm

Kalleberg’s solution requires rethinking the social contract, a tough sell in individualistic America. He refers to the European concept of “flexicurity,” which seeks to combine employer flexibility with worker security. Doing so requires rethinking the relationship between public and private. The essential elements of such a model require universal, affordable, portable health insurance which ideally should be separated from employment. It also requires a more secure and portable pension system, more generous unemployment insurance, and greater opportunities to acquire new skills and education over the course of a lifetime. If employment is more transient and employers invest little in their workers, then a revitalized social safety net needs to fill in the gaps.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Joan C. Williams, Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter

By: Sunday November 7, 2010 1:59 pm

As the economy fails to improve, as we chart the rise of the Tea Party and the Republican Party’s ability to express disdain for unemployment benefits without significant political cost, Americans lack a roadmap for the role of class and gender in the new American landscape. Joan Williams’ book, Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter (Harvard 2010), supplies that roadmap. The book creates an innovative framework for examining the relationship between law, work and family in the post-industrial economy.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Richard D. Wolff, Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It

By: Saturday July 17, 2010 2:00 pm

Dr. Wolff is a prominent Marxist economist who teaches at U. Mass and The New School. The book is composed of scores of short essays he did for Monthly Review beginning in 2005. The publicity blurb sent to potential reviewers states that Dr. Wolff “predicted the economic meltdown years ago.” The book does not contain specific predictions of the meltdown beyond the omnipresent Marxist prediction that capitalism is inherently unstable. Dr. Wolff’s articles take note of the bubble and nonprime assets in the articles in the book after the collapse of the bubble and after the crisis in nonprime assets were obvious. Readers interested in the scholars that predicted the specific crisis should consult Jamie Galbraith’s article.

Dr. Wolff’s emphasis is explaining his overall Marxist critique of capitalism’s defects. The articles can be read easily by the general reader. No economic expertise is required and Dr. Wolff writes in English without the Marxist jargon that non-specialists find confusing.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture

By: Sunday April 18, 2010 2:00 pm

Now, the empirical evidence is mounting that, at the very least, there is a strong correlation between family type and political identity. In Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture, law professors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone makes a very compelling, research-tested case for the idea that the kind of family you’re in is tightly linked to where you live, how much education you have, what you do for work, how much money you make–and how you vote come election time.

According to Cahn and Carbone, the “Red Family Paradigm” emphasizes “the unity of sex, marriage, and procreation” and is defined by early marriage and parenthood (not necessarily in that order, as shotgun marriages are more commons in red states), less education, and more hierarchical family relationships. The first chapters of the book are dedicated to showing how this way of family is rooted in states and areas that voted Republican in recent elections—and how the states that voted Democratic are defined by another, newer family model “geared for the post-industrial economy.” This “Blue Family Paradigm” is urban, educated, and egalitarian. Crucially, Cahn and Carbone find both men and women will tend to delay parenthood until they both feel a degree of emotional and financial independence, which in the twenty-first century has translated in more income and wealth as well as better outcomes for children.

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