• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Family Policy and the American Safety Net shows how families adapt to economic and demographic change. Government programs provide a safety net against the new risks of modern life. Family policy includes any public program that helps families perform their four universal obligations of caregiving, income provision, shelter, and transmission of citizenship. In America, this means that child care, health care, Social Security, unemployment insurance, housing, the quality of neighborhood schools, and antidiscrimination and immigration measures are all key elements of a de facto family policy. Yet many students and citizens are unaware of the history and importance of these programs. This book argues that family policy is as important as economic and defense policy to the future of the nation, a message that is ...

Defining the Family
Defining the family

Ever since the rise of the women's movement and the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, there has been a debate over the proper form of family life, some claiming that the traditional family is in a state of decline; others, that greater diversify in family structure is both needed and proper. The majority of Americans think of the family as made up of a husband, wife, and children with an extended kinship network that includes grandparents, cousins, in-laws, and other relatives. That raises a question of whether unrelated persons cohabiting in a household should also be counted as families or should be discouraged because they are harmful to children and adults alike.

This chapter will review the ideological spectrum of ...

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