The Limits of Community and the Role of Autonomy

in Family, Law, and Community

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780226074993
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226075020 | DOI:
The Limits of Community and the Role of Autonomy

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This chapter examines the mechanisms by which the community aids families that are given the status of “domestic relations,” beginning with the description of the ways community aids marriage and parenting. Relationships invite community recognition, or what is referred to as covenant, when they possess characteristics of permanence and unconditional love. Once the community trusts that partners or parents are capable of thinking unselfishly and over the long run, it lends vital support to the marriage or parenting relationship. However, this community sanction and support does not give individual outsiders the power to interfere with the autonomy that married couples and parents possess. When third parties claim “rights,” they undermine marriages and parenting. When family members begin to claim rights against each other, the families often become troubled.

Keywords: communities; families; domestic relations; marriage; parenting; covenant

Chapter.  9116 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Family Law

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