New Family Values: Liberty, Equality, Diversity

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9780742512306: New Family Values: Liberty, Equality, Diversity
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How many different kinds of families are there? New Family Values provides a critical analysis of scholars and authors who argue that law and policy should be used to foster one model of the family―the intact, two-parent, heterosexual family. Karen Struening argues that this position does not adequately address the problem it supposedly solves―family dissolution―and unnecessarily constrains personal liberty. Healthy families may be necessary for civic unity and individual stability, but there can be many different kinds of families.

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About the Author:

Karen Struening is a guest instructor in political science at Sarah Lawrence College.

Review:

New Family Values is an extraordinarily good book. Struening uses an impressive array of facts to convincingly argue against 'family communitarians' like Elshtain and Galston, and in favor of supporting diversity in family forms. Having just completed a survey of the relevant literature, I know that there is really nothing out there like it. (James P. Sterba, University of Notre Dame)

Employing simple but elegant prose, Karen Struening offers an insightful critique of those who argue that the welfare of our children requires reinforcement of the traditional nuclear family. Her timely defense of nontraditional forms of the family, based on a sophisticated interpretation of the fundamental principles of liberalism, will be of interest to feminists, to lesbian and gay activists, and, indeed, to all who believe that meeting the needs of our children does not require sacrificing the needs of those who share responsibility for this most important task. (Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, Whitman College)

New Family Values reminds us that a certain model of the family is implicated in the policing of our sexualities, our personal freedoms, and gender itself. It is an important intervention into current debates about family values. (Judith Grant, University of Southern California)

New Family Values forcefully and persuasively argues that the ability to choose the form of our intimate associations is a fundamental right. Moreover Struening argues that family diversity contributes to the health of the greater society. This bookis essential reading for all concerned with articulating why we should embrace a new form of family values for a feminist and progressive politics.... (Lori Marso, Union College; author of (Un)Manly Citizens: J. J. Rousseau's Subversive Women)

Streuning provides a thoughtful analysis of the positive possibilities of diverse, especially gay and lesbian families. (Journal of Marriage and Family)

Karen Struening is one of the most promising scholars working in the fields of political theory, feminism, and public policy today. . . . Her work is political and legal theory at its best: she draws on a wide range of scholarship, thinks critically, and directly addresses issues fraught with normative implications. Struening has an admirable ability to translate complex technical issues in constitutional law, public policy, and normative theory into accessible prose and lucid argumentation. Her writing is engaged without being tendentious, learned without being obscure. (Morris B. Kaplan, SUNY Purchase College)

New Family Values forcefully and persuasively argues that the ability to choose the form of our intimate associations is a fundamental right. Moreover Struening argues that family diversity contributes to the health of the greater society. This book isessential reading for all concerned with articulating why we should embrace a new form of family values for a feminist and progressive politics. (Lori Marso, Union College; author of (Un)Manly Citizens: J. J. Rousseau's Subversive Women)

Struening presents an insightful discussion of the arguments advanced by family communitarians. She summarizes their argumens cogently and presents an astute analysis of their structure. (Perspectives on Politics)

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