Skip to product information
1 of 2

Zone Books

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism (Zone / Near Futures)

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism (Zone / Near Futures)

Book Details
  • Author: Melinda Cooper
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Zone Books
  • Published: 2019-03-05
  • Edition: Reprint
Regular price $21.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $21.95 USD
Sale Sold out
Shipping calculated at checkout.
Condition

An investigation of the roots of the alliance between free-market neoliberals and social conservatives.

Why was the discourse of family values so pivotal to the conservative and free-market revolution of the 1980s 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 is recurrently facilitated the working relationship between free-market liberals and social conservatives.

Neoliberalism, 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 socioeconomic 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 freedom.

In a series of case studies ranging from Bill 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.

The More Than Words double bottom line: Every purchase provides hands on job training opportunities, and all revenue supports our nonprofit to empower youth to take charge of their lives.

Shipping Info

We offer standard and express shipping starting at $5.99. Live local? We offer local pickup on select items at our Boston Store and Mobile Bookstore location.

Returns

We accept returns within 30 days of purchase for a refund. Simply reach out to us if you have any trouble with your order.

Care Instructions

We are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have at any time. Reach out to us and we can't wait to help!

View full details

can't find what you are looking for...

We Can Help