[[ Read ]] ➬ Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism Author Melinda Cooper – Thomashillier.co.uk

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism Why Was The Discourse Of Family Values So Pivotal To The Conservative And Free Market Revolution Of The S And Why Has It Continued To Exert Such A Profound Influence On American Political Life Why Have Free Market Neoliberals So Often Made Common Cause With Social Conservatives On The Question Of Family, Despite Their Differences On All Other Issues In This Book, Melinda Cooper Challenges The Idea That Neoliberalism Privileges Atomized Individualism Over Familial Solidarities, And Contractual Freedom Over Inherited Status Delving Into The History Of The American Poor Laws, She Shows How The Liberal Ethos Of Personal Responsibility Was Always Undergirded By A Wider Imperative Of Family Responsibility And How This Investment In Kinship Obligations Recurrently Facilitated The Working Relationship Between Free Market Liberals And Social ConservativesNeoliberalism, She Argues, Must Be Understood As An Effort To Revive And Extend The Poor Law Tradition In The Contemporary Idiom Of Household Debt As Neoliberal Policymakers Imposed Cuts To Health, Education, And Welfare Budgets, They Simultaneously Identified The Family As A Wholesale Alternative To The Twentieth Century Welfare State And As The Responsibility For Deficit Spending Shifted From The State To The Household, The Private Debt Obligations Of Family Were Defined As Foundational To Socio Economic Order Despite Their Differences, Neoliberals And Social Conservatives Were In Agreement That The Bonds Of Family Needed To Be Encouraged And At The Limit Enforced As A Necessary Counterpart To Market FreedomIn A Series Of Case Studies Ranging From Clinton S Welfare Reform To The AIDS Epidemic, And From Same Sex Marriage To The Student Loan Crisis, Cooper Explores The Key Policy Contributions Made By Neoliberal Economists And Legal Theorists Only By Restoring The Question Of Family To Its Central Place In The Neoliberal Project, She Argues, Can We Make Sense Of The Defining Political Alliance Of Our Times, That Between Free Market Economics And Social Conservatism


10 thoughts on “Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism

  1. says:

    How free market economics of the neoliberal variety and the religious right work hand in hand to steer policy towards squeezing families into a pigeon hole and starving them of resources And then using the social pathology that results to enact policies to doof the same but sound family friendly to conservative ears Very few people look at what neoliberalism does to grow economic misery while conservatism makes for the misery of women, LGBT people, minorities who it points a finger at fo How free market economics of the neoliberal variety and the religious right work hand in hand to steer policy towards squeezing families into a pigeon hole and starving them of resources And then using the social pathology that results to enact policies to doof the same but sound family friendly to conservative ears Very few people look at what neoliberalism does to grow economic misery while conservatism makes for the misery of women, LGBT people, minorities who it points a finger at for the failure of economic policy Like a one two punch extract money from the poor and when they predictably have problems blame them for it and justifyof the same Be it jacking up college prices by the neoliberals and making them the only ticket to a living wage and then turning around to blame for being hotbeds of radicalism These two separate things work together first you put students in debt and you make left politics a risky thing to engage in The same goes for pricing the lifestyle of LBGT people and denying them the legal benefits of marriage which have all sorts of legal and monetary benefits or of course the obvious case of using an idea of the nuclear family to get rid of welfare protections and revive a new kind of poor law much resembling the victorian ones of the dark satanic mills The family is as always toe focus of this one two punch Good for rich people and good for megachurches of the prosperity variety


  2. says:

    Absolutely tremendous an intellectual history that is genuinely ground breaking Future histories or analyses of neoliberalism which fail to reckon with the book s central argument about the fundamental importance of the family and not just the individual to neoliberalism will be seriously hampered in understanding the last fifty years of history.


  3. says:

    The book is primarily an intellectual history, synthesizing connections between neoliberalism, neo conservatism and the idea of traditional families.That s right The central thesis of the book is that neoliberalism should be understood as seeing the traditional family as the necessary and proper fundamental unit of a well functioning community.Not the atomized, narcissistic and solitary individual homo economicus it s supposed to fetishize Hot take indeed.Quoting Gary Becker Becker a The book is primarily an intellectual history, synthesizing connections between neoliberalism, neo conservatism and the idea of traditional families.That s right The central thesis of the book is that neoliberalism should be understood as seeing the traditional family as the necessary and proper fundamental unit of a well functioning community.Not the atomized, narcissistic and solitary individual homo economicus it s supposed to fetishize Hot take indeed.Quoting Gary Becker Becker argues that the familial incentive toward altruism is as central to the constitution of the free market as the utilitarian incentive of self interested exchange.The nature of the family altruism in some sense represents an internal exception to the free market, an immanent order of noncontractual obligations and inalienable services without which the world of contract would cease to function.This premise is so constitutive of economic liberalism, both classical and neoliberal, that it is rarely articulated as such.Yet it explains why, in Wendy Brown s words, private family values constitute the secret underside of liberal contractualismwe can see the connection between neoliberalism and neoconservatismNeo liberals are particularly concerned about the enormous social costs that derive from the breakdown of the stable Fordist family the costs that have been incurred, for example, by women who opt for no fault divorce, women who have children out of wedlock or those who engage in unprotected sex without private insurance and the fact that these costs accrue to the government and taxpayer rather than the private family.Although they are muchprepared than are social conservatives to accommodate changes in the nature and form of relationships within the family, neoliberal economists and legal theorists wish to reestablish the private family as the primary source of economic security and a comprehensive alternative to the welfare state.If American welfare reform has been singularly focused on the question of marriage promotion and responsible family formation in the past few decades, it is thanks to the ongoing collaboration between neoliberals and social conservatives on this point in particular. And relatedGerman political economist Wolfgang Streeck, whose recent work reflects at length on what he sees as the causal relationship between the flexible employment contract and the flexible family Streeck is concerned here with the dismantling of the standard postwar employment relationship and its correlate, the so called Fordist family consisting of a male worker, a stay at home wife and mother, and two orchildren.As he notes, the economic security of the postwar era was premised on a tightly enforced sexual division of labor that relegated women to lower paid, precarious forms of employment and indexed the wage of the Fordist worker to the costs of maintaining a wife and children at home.How and why did this particular architecture of economic security crumble so rapidly in the 1970s, Streeck asks, and why did its decline provoke so little opposition from those who benefited so much from itSearching for an answer to this question, he notes that the social and family structure that the standard employment relationship had once underwritten has itself dissolved in a process of truly revolutionary change In fact, it appears that the Fordist family was replaced by a flexible family in much the same way as Fordist employment was replaced by flexible employment, during the same period and also all across the Western world The destabilization of the long term marital contract, Streeck wants to argue, occurred a short but significant time before the dismantling of the Fordist employment relationship and can be seen as having provoked the decline of the latter The revolution in family law and intimate relationships that occurred in the 1960s from the introduction of no fault divorce to the growing acceptance of cohabitation destroyed the very raison d tre of the Fordist family wage and thereby led to its gradual phasing out over the following years If women were no longer tied to men in long term relation ships of economic dependence, and if men were no longer obliged to look after a wife and children for life, then who would be left to defend that great Fordist institution of economic security, the family wageEven , Emphatically, what prompted their reaction was not the New Deal welfare state itself although neoliberals certainly had a long tradition of critique on this front but rather the panoply of liberation movements that emerged out of and in excess of the postwar Keynesian order toward the end of the 1960s.At various moments between the 1960s and 1980s, poverty activists, welfare militants, feminists, AIDS activists, and public interest lawyers articulated a novel politics of redistribution that delinked risk protection from the sexual division of labor and social insurance from sexual normativity.These movements were historically unique in that they continued to fight for greater wealth and income redistribution while refusing the normative constraints of the Fordist family wage.While neoliberals and neoconservatives were sur prisingly sympathetic to efforts to democratize the New Deal welfare state most notably when it came to the inclusion of African American men within the family wage system they balked when the Fordist family itself came into question. In short, it was only when the liberation movements of the 1960s began to challenge the sexual normativity of the family wage as the linchpin and foundation of welfare capitalism that the neoliberal new social conservative alliance came into being.What they proposed in response to this crisis was not a return to the Fordist family wage this particular nostalgia would be the hallmark of the left , but rather the strategic reinvention of a much older, poor law tradition of private family responsibility, using the combined instruments of welfare reform, changes to taxation, and monetary policy.Under their influence, welfare has been transformed from a redistributive program into an immense federal apparatus for policing the private family responsibilitiesWhich makes the recent acceptance of ands laws for same sex marriage quite interestingThe LGBT movement has subsequently moved in the opposite direction Rather than challenge the limitations intrinsic to the public private welfare state, it has instead fought for inclusion within an already exclusive system of private, work based health insurance.At a point in time when access to healthcare coverage through full time, secure employment and by extension marriage, has become an increasingly rare proposition, the LGBT movement has devoted much of its energies to attaining this shrinking privilege.The notion that same sex marriage would ensure access to private healthcare insurance has thus become a key plank in the reform agenda of LGBT rights advocates.Similar arguments have been made with respect to Social Security, which in the event of premature death provides survivor s benefits for widowed spouses and children.At a time of shrinking political horizons, same sex marriage proponents look to the surviving remnants of the family wage social insurance benefits premised on marital and familial status to argue that they too should be included in this last vestige of Fordist normativity The call to recognize same sex marriage thus becomes a demand for inclusion within a family wage system that is itself in terminal decline. But beyond this, many of the same voices in the same sex marriage debate simultaneously adopt the neoliberal argument that legal recognition of their unions will ultimately allow same sex couples to take care of themselves and thus renounce their rights to state welfare altogether In this optic, the campaign for same sex marriage no longer entails a demand for inclusion in the family wage system of social insurance but rather an affirmation of one s ability to live independently of the state By allowing lesbians and gay men to enter into legally enforceable and long term obligations of care and mutual support, it is suggested, the recognition of gay marriage will induct same sex couples into a neoliberal ethic of family responsibility. and By any standard, the terrain traversed by queer politics over the last three decades has been extreme, moving as it has from the radio cal antinormativity of ACT UP and Queer Nation to the reproductive legitimacy of the same sex marriage campaign We live in an era where normativity itself no longer appears to play the overwhelmingly exclusionary and hence central role it once did in the regulation of sexuality in the mid to late twentieth century, despite its prominence as a concept in contemporary queer studies.The fact of non normative sexuality is no longer defined as criminal or pathological by the social sciences nor is it likely to trigger a whole series of medical and psychiatric interventions on the part of the welfare state and its allied institutions although these older forms of social stigmatization are now being rapidly replaced by new kinds of religiously inflected moral exclusionWe live at a time where the public affirmation of one s status as a homosexual will no longer automatically exclude a person from employment, credit, or housing which is not to say that homophobia no longer exists far from it In the spirit of Foucault s periodization of power, in fact, we might classify this period as postnormative if we take normativity to refer to the precise forms of statistical exclusion that accompanied and shaped the Fordist family wage, along with their epistemological expression in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, where different kinds of sexuality were once overwhelmingly defined in terms of pathological deviance.In this sense, perhaps, Foucault was right to see the advent of neoliberalism as marking the passage toward a postnormative formation of powerSome interesting stuff about education too How are the UC s can no longer provide free higher educationFor their part, neoliberal economists such as Milton Friedman and James M Buchanan also suspected some kind of causal connection between free public education and rising militantism of the student movement.Drawing on the pragmatic insights of rational choice economics, which understands the most antisocial behavior as a rational response to market signals, they sought to show how the creation of free public goods such as education could act as a perverse incentive toward destructive anarchism and, conversely, how the pricing of these same goods could reverse such alarming trends. The question of family was central to neoliberal arguments against public investment in education and key to their proposals for a new economic order powered by private investment and household debt Both Chicago school human capital theorists and the public choice economists of the Virginia school justified their opposition to public deficit spending by pointing to its role in inciting the anti authoritarianism of the student movement Although their arguments often meshed with the overtly moralizing rhetoric of neoconservatives such as Sameuel Huntington, the neoliberals offered a muchadaptive and flexible solution to what they perceived as a threat to inherited wealth and a decline in family responsibility.Neoconservatives would spend the next few decades railing against affirmative action and fighting a cultural war against the new minority disciplines of black, ethnic, and women s studies.Neoliberal economists also opposed affirmative action as a distortion of the allocative virtues of the free market.But unlike the neoconservatives, they wereinterested in the positive task of developing an entirely new model of education funding one that would replace public with private deficit spending and in so doing reinstate the economic obligations of familyOrigins for the rise of student debt critical to policy debates around human capital funding First, howmuch public investment is needed Second, should the returns from public investment accrue to the individuals in whose training the investment was made Without offering an explicit response to the first question, Friedman and Kuznets suggested that in an ideal world, existing inequalities in education and wages could be resolved entirely through the private capital markets With a few changes to corporate law, students could be persuaded to sell stock in them selves and obligated to pay a portion of their future wages as dividends to their public of stockholders.In this remarkable passage, Friedman and Kuznets see students not so much as investors in their own human capital as corporations selling a stake in their human capital to outside investors a vision that has now in large part been realized, albeit in the form of debt rather than equity based finance, and crucially without the usual corporate protections of limited liability or bankruptcy laws. In their 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Rose and Milton Friedman came out evendecisively in favor of private investment in human capital, Here they argued that the returns to investment in education accrued entirely to the individual student and that any ostensible social benefits were merely the summation of private wage gains.The individual student should therefore be held responsible for the costs of his education.The Friedmans concurred with Schultz that there had been massive underinvestment in higher education, but unlike Schultz, they believed that this failure could best be remedied through the liberalization of credit.The fact that low income students were unable to pay for a degree and thus discriminated against in the labor market could be attributed to imperfections in the capital marketThere s a lot of interesting stuff and the book is very thorough.Kinda reminds me of Chomsky s Understanding Power cite everything back and forth twenty ways to Tuesday.But similarly, the book still reads a little biased, and I am no historian to tell whether there are alternative interpretations and what the author omits.On the other hand it does clarify one thing the postwar years were interesting and something unlikely we ll see again.Parts also reminded me of Eric Hoffer s prescient criticism of mass movements in how often they fail to achieve what they want.


  4. says:

    This is a really unique take on contemporary cultural politics and macroeconomics, because Cooper locates a conservative role for the nuclear family unit as the key ideological plank assumption of both neoliberal political economy and new social conservatism a loose alliance of neoconservatives, Evangelicals, and others on the post New Deal right She argues that the belief in the family as a moral and economic unit underpins both philosophies albeit in different ways and that this united as This is a really unique take on contemporary cultural politics and macroeconomics, because Cooper locates a conservative role for the nuclear family unit as the key ideological plank assumption of both neoliberal political economy and new social conservatism a loose alliance of neoconservatives, Evangelicals, and others on the post New Deal right She argues that the belief in the family as a moral and economic unit underpins both philosophies albeit in different ways and that this united assumption allows the two ideological strands to work together toward shared goals.The new social conservative obsession with family values is muchobvious, as their pro fatherhood, anti gay, anti permissive society role in the culture wars is well known Out of a moral sense of tradition and a conservative fear that the old values nostalgically viewed through rose tinted glasses which brought ethical order were being undone, especially during the 1960s The neoliberal investment in the family issubtle, but no less pervasive Cooper argues that the neoliberal focus on family is grounded not in moral values, but in economic ones, because the state can offload the costs of social welfare onto families eliminating or reducing, for instance, social security and thereby forcing families to support the elderly and to save for individual retirement as opposed to relying on the state, or introducing a credit based system for higher education rather than the Great Society era grants system Unfortunately, as Cooper explains, these systems did not do anything near what neoliberal economists had promised i.e., decease inequality, preserve social stability, and save the state money , but they did disproportionately affect the poor, people whose income was based on wages rather than capital gains, women, queers, and racial minorities As David Harvey said in A Short History of Neoliberalism, neoliberalism is ultimately premised on the restoration of class power and Cooper s book shows how the ideological tool of family values and family reliance was used skillfully to restore class power for the wealthy at the expense of those who had benefited the most from social progress under the New Deal, Great Society, Civil Rights, and Women s Liberation By offloading the costs of running society from the government i.e., from society at large onto private families, those families most able to sustain themselves i.e., the wealthy and secure were relatively unharmed, while those most vulnerable saw their security undermined and replaced with false promises and paternalistic moralizing


  5. says:

    This book opened my eyes to the important function of inherited wealth within a capitalist society While reading it, I also went and found some interviews with members of New Zealand s multi millionaire and billionaire families, most of them identify as liberals and go on about how they support individualism Meanwhile, they transfer wealth between one another tax free via inheritance, trusts, and gifts, and make conscious efforts to share only between blood relatives Within their family corpo This book opened my eyes to the important function of inherited wealth within a capitalist society While reading it, I also went and found some interviews with members of New Zealand s multi millionaire and billionaire families, most of them identify as liberals and go on about how they support individualism Meanwhile, they transfer wealth between one another tax free via inheritance, trusts, and gifts, and make conscious efforts to share only between blood relatives Within their family corporations and firms, their children are given the top jobs and eventually take over The Todd Corporation, of the Todd family worth 3.6bn, does not permit anyone who is not a blood relative of their ancestor, Charles Todd, to hold shares in the corporation Yet members of this wealthy family still call themselves liberals and talk of individualism Further, most of New Zealand s super rich families vocally detest taxes, the welfare state, and redistributive government policy Instead, they commit to a little bit of philanthropy As Cooper explains, the Charity Organisation Society COS was developed in the 19th century as a pro business think tank, its aim was to stop the government s distribution of welfare and poor relief, and instead give business and charities the job of distinguishing between the deserving and undeserving poor Subsequently, government responsibility was replaced by charity, so the rich, often familial dynasties, could trickle tiny amounts of their wealth to the poor at whim, rather than have the government do it for them via taxation Since the neoliberal period of the 1970s , welfare has been cut and reduced across Western countries, while the super rich have gotten substantially richer, and inheritance taxes have been abolished These people are both rentiers, and inheritors, and they do not have to work a day in their lives, however, they can give off a good appearance by sprinkling a bit of money to a charity The book describes how liberalism and moral conservatism come together to make capital s double movement, a movement that makes rich families richer and poor families poorer What is also interesting, is that the popular, liberal philosophy of individualism, is in fact about families The neolibs, Friedman and Hayek, both posited the family as part of the individual personality throughout their siege on the welfare state So, for the rich, individual rights are also family rights, and for the poor, individual responsibility is also private, familial responsibility, and people are to look after themselves, rather than seek help from the state


  6. says:

    I thought that I knew a lot about neoliberalism, but Family Values transformed my understanding of it as an ideology and a political program Each chapter covers a different aspect of social policy welfare, health insurance, education , but if there is one theme that connects them all, it s the deep complementarity between neoliberal concerns about moral hazard lax government policies creating incentives for risky or perverse behavior and the desire of social conservatives to restore the auth I thought that I knew a lot about neoliberalism, but Family Values transformed my understanding of it as an ideology and a political program Each chapter covers a different aspect of social policy welfare, health insurance, education , but if there is one theme that connects them all, it s the deep complementarity between neoliberal concerns about moral hazard lax government policies creating incentives for risky or perverse behavior and the desire of social conservatives to restore the authority of traditional institutions like the family and the church Libertarian rhetoric about the market expanding the sphere of individual freedom to pursue a wide range of lifestyles definitely ringshollow after reading this book If there s one quibble that I have with the book, it s that Cooper doesn t really talk about race very much, and therefore misses a great opportunity to connect neoliberalism and the new social conservatism to the war on crime and the expansion of the carceral state In From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, Elizabeth Hinton talks about how the perception that Great Society social programs undermined traditional gender roles which is a recurring motif in Family Values as a point of agreement between neoliberals and neoconservatives fueled the increasingly punitive approach to urban poverty and crime from the 1970s on This would have been a profitable angle for Cooper to explore.Nonetheless, this was a terrific book that has made me think differently about a lot of different policy issues, and about both neoliberalism as a political theory and the evolution of American conservatism


  7. says:

    I ve recommended this book at least a dozen times while reading it, and can t speak highly enough of Cooper s argument a landmark thesis that joins capital to culture, and shows how modern capitalist policies rely so heavily on reinforcing sex, gender, and race hierarchies Love, love, love, discussion of family law and the eerie parallels between post Reconstruction racism and Clinton s post welfare policies Fills in a lot of the cultural, domestic holes in Brenner s analysis of our midcentury I ve recommended this book at least a dozen times while reading it, and can t speak highly enough of Cooper s argument a landmark thesis that joins capital to culture, and shows how modern capitalist policies rely so heavily on reinforcing sex, gender, and race hierarchies Love, love, love, discussion of family law and the eerie parallels between post Reconstruction racism and Clinton s post welfare policies Fills in a lot of the cultural, domestic holes in Brenner s analysis of our midcentury golden era, as well as the motivations and fall out from the Volcker shock If you re interested in sex and gender, BLM, healthcare, labor politics, queer politics, left politics pretty much anything to do with political changes of the past half century, this book is for you This review in Dissent magazine does the bookjustice She covers a vast number of themes welfare reform, deindustrialization, the AIDS crisis, incarceration, spiraling inequality, the return of religion, and the role of securitized credit markets in mortgages and student debt These discussions bring together intellectual, political, economic, and cultural history into a satisfying, and sometimes exhilarating, unity These familiar stories, she shows, are bound up in one overarching narrative the installation of the nuclear family, and not the state, as the privileged site of debt, wealth transfer, and care


  8. says:

    I was truly amazed by this book I wanted to knowabout this curious phenomenon that I have observed in the States of right libertarians who have embraced very conservative social politics, like Tea Partiers who go in for free market cheerleading and anti abortion stances This book is such a good exposition of current politics on the much of the right I am a physicist, not a sociologist, and I found it to be very clearly written and easy to understand, with a minimum of social science ter I was truly amazed by this book I wanted to knowabout this curious phenomenon that I have observed in the States of right libertarians who have embraced very conservative social politics, like Tea Partiers who go in for free market cheerleading and anti abortion stances This book is such a good exposition of current politics on the much of the right I am a physicist, not a sociologist, and I found it to be very clearly written and easy to understand, with a minimum of social science terminology that sometimes makes those writings difficult I actually found it to be as compelling as a good murder mystery or sci fi novel in that it drew me in and made me curious about what was coming next I ve never experienced that with a book of this type It read like top notch investigative journalism and less like an academic monograph At the same time, it is packed with a tremendous amount of good information, historical insight, and loads of sources After reading this book I have a much deeper and realistic understanding of the last 40 years of U.S history, not to mention the current state of affairs here This book is essential if you want to understand the political climate of today and the emergence of Donald Trump I would give it 6 stars if I could


  9. says:

    Melinda Cooper s Family Values is a stunning and revelatory work of political, social and economic history Shattering the widely held view that American liberal politics has always revolved around the individual, Cooper charts out, in meticulous detail, the many ways in which the family unit has served to undergird and secure the freedom of the individual so commonly touted as liberalism s central philosophical plank Picking up from roughly around the time of Lyndon B Johnston s Great So Melinda Cooper s Family Values is a stunning and revelatory work of political, social and economic history Shattering the widely held view that American liberal politics has always revolved around the individual, Cooper charts out, in meticulous detail, the many ways in which the family unit has served to undergird and secure the freedom of the individual so commonly touted as liberalism s central philosophical plank Picking up from roughly around the time of Lyndon B Johnston s Great Society reforms of the mid 1960s, Cooper plots the way in which liberal policies slowly but surely began to array themselves against the perceived excesses of the welfare state, displacing mechanisms of state support everupon the family unit, themselves increasingly cast as the first and in the last analysis only extra market bastion of societal support and care.While tracking alongside a story now well told among political commentators the rise and consolidation of neoliberal policy and government in the United States distinguishing Cooper s work is its attempt to tackle what ought to be a rather perplexing question how is it that neoliberal approaches to family have so easily dovetailed right into the traditional remit of conservative social policy That is since when do neoliberals give a damn about the family, and indeed strong families , at all Isn t it all just a question of markets and economics Well, yes, but , is Cooper s answer, insofar as it s been precisely on economic grounds or at least, a very specific set of economic grounds that the neoliberal turn to the family has largely taken place As the ever rehearsed, thinly pitched argument goes, the less public involvement, theefficient the markets To which one may append, in the wake of Cooper s painstaking research and so much the worse for the family.Thus, it s the story of the ever increasing social squeeze placed upon the family that makes up the bulk of this book, told in all its depressing detail From its intellectual ferment among the halls of the neoliberal academe think Milton and Rose Friedman, Gary Becker, Richard Posner, and others all the way to it s enshrinement in both court and law, Family Values tracks policy implementation, legal decisions, social movements, capital flows, and shifting public moods, all the better to relate the growing precarity of the family form And what it captures in depth so too does it in breadth from healthcare to housing, education to welfare, charity and inheritance, each andare taken up to demonstrate the sheer magnitude and scope of the ever tightening social and economic screws now applied everywhere to the family in the name of both liberalism and conservatism the left gets it s own flack too, with Cooper taking to task writers like Wolfgang Streeck and Nancy Fraser for their own, particular, valorizations of family.Finally, over and above the importance of the chronicle told within, are the methodological lessons this book coveys As an internally differentiated social unit by gender, age, and sexual orientation at a minimum Cooper shows how placing the family at the centre of social, economic, and historical analysis can pay off with radically vital results Indeed it s simply the case that nobody, having read this, would ever be able to ignore the role of the family, not only in any account of the neoliberal condition, but of society as such And this is to say nothing yet of the attention paid to class and race which similarly ranges across the topics dealt within In the hands of anyone else, one imagines that juggling this mass of information and diagnosis would be a hapless task, but Family Values is a book as clear as it is trenchant Oh, and did I mention unsurpassable for understanding the world we live in today Because it s that too Read, learn weep


  10. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here by far the best explication of the modern alliance of neoliberalism neoconservatism i ve read starts by pointing out that when neoliberals say individual they mean family and goes from there into, among other things, welfare reform outsourcing of services to faith based orgs , the successes and failures of the new left, the aids crisis, the volcker shock the reorientation of the economy away from labour towards asset appreciation as moments in the long march of this frankensteinian c by far the best explication of the modern alliance of neoliberalism neoconservatism i ve read starts by pointing out that when neoliberals say individual they mean family and goes from there into, among other things, welfare reform outsourcing of services to faith based orgs , the successes and failures of the new left, the aids crisis, the volcker shock the reorientation of the economy away from labour towards asset appreciation as moments in the long march of this frankensteinian conservatism