Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1131328
 
 

Citations (2)



 
 

Footnotes (247)



 


 



The Networked Family: Reframing the Legal Understanding of Caregiving and Caregivers


Melissa Murray


University of California, Berkeley - School of Law


Virginia Law Review, Vol. 94, No. 2, 2008

Abstract:     
Recent efforts to reconcile family law theory and doctrine with the lived experiences of families have focused narrowly on expanding the definition of the legal family to accommodate those in non-traditional family arrangements. By contrast, scant attention has been paid to the disjunction between law's understanding of caregiving and how families actually function in providing care. Law understands caregiving to be the work of parents; accordingly, it creates two caregiving extremes - one is either a parent, with the rights and responsibilities of that status, or one is a legal stranger without any entitlements. In focusing on these two poles, law disregards the caregiving continuum that exists between them. This Article explores this interpolar space and the non-parental caregivers who occupy it. Intuitively, we recognize that there are caregivers who are neither parents, nor strangers; and empirical and sociological evidence makes clear that parents do not provide care autonomously, but rather, rely on networks of non-parental caregivers. Indeed, in other doctrinal areas, like sentencing and public assistance, law acknowledges these caregiving networks explicitly. This Article examines three theoretical approaches for expanding the legal construction of caregiving to accommodate the way in which parents rely on caregiving networks comprised of non-parental caregivers. Recognizing these networks, it further argues, would help reconcile family law with the reality of family life, while advancing family law's stated interest in enabling and facilitating caregiving within families.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 71

Keywords: family, caregivers, caregiving, parental rights, legal recognition

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: May 11, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Murray, Melissa, The Networked Family: Reframing the Legal Understanding of Caregiving and Caregivers. Virginia Law Review, Vol. 94, No. 2, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1131328

Contact Information

Melissa Murray (Contact Author)
University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )
215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 983
Downloads: 175
Download Rank: 99,525
Citations:  2
Footnotes:  247

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.266 seconds