Negative Family Law

Clare Huntington

in Failure to Flourish

Published in print June 2014 | ISBN: 9780195385762
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199366965 | DOI:
Negative Family Law

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Pervasive regulation does little to nurture strong, stable, positive relationships. Despite the law’s influence over nearly every aspect of family life, there is a persistent belief that families do and should operate autonomously, independent of the government. The central problem with this myth of family autonomy is that it reinforces an ideology of nonresponsibility for the government, leading to policies that fail to strengthen families before crisis. When crises do occur, the government takes a more active role but often in a way that makes things worse. And to the extent that the government lets families operate with relative autonomy, it often does so unevenly, deferring to the decisions of some families while directly intervening and second-guessing the choices of others. This difference in treatment generally turns on race and class lines, with the government far more ready to intervene in the lives of low-income, nonwhite families.

Keywords: autonomy; class; crisis; families; government; intervene; race

Chapter.  13138 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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