Strengthening Families

Policy Issues for the Twenty-First Century
  • Phyllis Moen
  • Kay B. Forest

Abstract

Families are once again in the political spotlight in the United States at all levels of government. In the first edition of this Handbook, Moen and Schorr (1987) depicted the 1970s and the 1980s as a period of the politicization of the American family, stating that conservatives and liberals alike have couched political agendas in a family rhetoric (p. 795). This war with words escalated exponentially in the 1990s, such that family values took center stage in political campaigns. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike described the family as pivotal, both the source of the nation’s capability and vitality and the locus of its deepest afflictions and frailties. Indeed, the 1990s represented a time of growing consensus that we as a nation are experiencing a profound crisis in the institution of the family. The declines and heightened vulnerabilities social scientists and observers have recounted over the last several decades are coming increasingly to inform, and shape, the policy agenda. At the same time, family and family values are polarizing Americans in a culture war over the role of the state in family life and indeed over competing visions of the fundamental nature of families—what they are and what they should be (Blankenhorn, Bayme, & Elshtain, 1990; Bronfenbrenner, McClelland, Wethington, Moen, & Ceci, 1996; Hewlett, 1991; Hunter, 1991; Whitehead, 1992).

Keywords

Child Support Artificial Insemination Parental Leave Welfare Reform Family Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phyllis Moen
    • 1
  • Kay B. Forest
    • 2
  1. 1.Bronfenbrenner Life Course CenterCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

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