Contesting Conservatisms, Family Feuds and the Privatization of Dependency

American Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law, Vol. 13, No. 3, p. 414, 2005

U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-11

97 Pages Posted: 11 May 2005

See all articles by Brenda Cossman

Brenda Cossman

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The paper begins with an exploration of the theoretical differences between different visions of the family and the contradictory implications for the regulation of the family. It illustrates the extent to which these divergent approaches to family and privatization correspond to fiscal and social conservative political philosophies, and their fundamental differences in assumptions about family, gender and dependency. The paper then turns to consider three issues in the federal legal regulation of the family as concrete instantiations of the contradictions: child support, welfare reform, and marriage.

Although no one model of the family has emerged as dominant, the analysis of each of the three areas suggests that the social conservative model appears to be in ascendance. The paper argues that it is the discursive power of this social conservative vision that has to a large extent precluded broader definitions of family and a more robust privatization of support obligations in accordance with the goals of fiscal conservatism or the promotion of private choice in accordance with the goals of libertarianism.

Suggested Citation

Cossman, Brenda, Contesting Conservatisms, Family Feuds and the Privatization of Dependency. U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-11; U Toronto, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 05-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=721629

Brenda Cossman (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-6658 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
179
rank
162,144
Abstract Views
1,605
PlumX Metrics