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The Illusion of Equality : Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform - Professor Martha Albertson Fineman

The Illusion of Equality

Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform

Paperback Published: 1st January 1991
ISBN: 9780226249575
Number Of Pages: 262

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How do "no-fault," "gender-neutral" divorce reforms actually harm the lives of women and children they are designed to protect? Focusing on the language and symbols of reform, Martha Fineman argues that by advocating measures based on equality of "treatment" rather than of "outcome, " liberal feminists disregarded the socioeconomic factors that simultaneously place women at a disadvantage in the market and favor their taking on primary domestic responsibilities. She traces in persuasive detail the detrimental effects of equality rhetoric in shaping divorce law -- such as the legal separation of parents' and children's interests; equality replacing need as the prime criterion for settlements; and the increase of state intervention into family life. More than a critique, this book is an incisive argument for adopting outcome-oriented measures and a valuable overview of the pitfalls of uncritically implementing any rhetoric as social policy.

Introduction: The Recasting of Family Law
Equality Rhetoric and the Economics of Divorce
The Family as a Site of Rhetorical and Ideological Contest
Equality Discourse and Economic Decisions Made at Divorce
Embracing Equality: A Case Study
Equality Rhetoric and Child Custody Decision Making
Child Custody: Equality as the Aftermath of Economic Reforms
The Individualization of the Family: Child Advocacy
The Use of the Social Sciences in Custody Policy-Making
Constructing the Social Science Foundation for an Ideological Solution
The Resort to Alternative Decision Makers
Abdicating Equality
Alternative Visions from Discarded Discourses
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226249575
ISBN-10: 0226249573
Series: Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 262
Published: 1st January 1991
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 25.0 x 20.0  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.34
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition