Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2129739
 


 



The Family and the Market - Redux


Maxine Eichner


University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

January 1, 2012

Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 13, No. 1
UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2129739

Abstract:     
The relationship between the family and the market has long been an issue of contention in Western Societies. Since the 1970s, that relationship has required renegotiation as women, who had performed the great majority of care taking work, have entered the workforce in increasing numbers. At the same time, women’s movement into the workplace and the changes in public policy that have accompanied it have spurred significant scholarly commentary over how the family-market relationship should be reconstructed. This Article argues against one possible approach to this reconstruction, in which the state withdraws barriers between the family and the market that support families’ care taking and human development activities. Under this approach, which by and large has been adopted in public policy in the United States, women’s movement into the role of breadwinner has been accompanied by decreased state support for care taking and human development, in the belief that market forces should properly determine how these activities are conducted. This Article argues that the market is the wrong tool to use to 'distribute' these activities. Doing so is not only resulting in an unjust distribution of these activities among and within families, it is causing serious harm, not only to society’s most vulnerable citizens, but also to the polity as a whole. The proper role of the state, this Article argues, is to buffer care taking and human development activities from market forces in order to ensure the well being of individuals, families, and society.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

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Date posted: August 15, 2012 ; Last revised: September 21, 2012

Suggested Citation

Eichner, Maxine, The Family and the Market - Redux (January 1, 2012). Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 13, No. 1; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2129739. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2129739

Contact Information

Maxine Eichner (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )
Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
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