1st Edition

Putting the Family First
Identities, decisions, citizenship

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 30, 2022
ISBN 9781032221175
January 30, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
258 Pages

USD $120.00

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Book Description

First published in 1994, Putting the Family First is a study of better-off couples that clarifies the relationship between individualism and family values. Partners’ cultural practices focus on "making something of themselves", being "supportive" of each other, and spending "quality time" with children. But their economic strategies are directed towards competition for positional goods, especially higher education and good jobs for their offspring. The authors argue that, although these strategies are rational for individual families, they are collectively wasteful and mutually frustrating, and construct a narrow and exclusive version of citizenship. Such private morality depletes civic culture, and is socially costly.

This revealing study provides a valuable text for students, with considerable appeal for courses in sociology, social policy, gender and cultural studies. It will be of broader interest to others connected to avoid the unravelling of our social fabric.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 1. Introduction 2. Making Something of Oneself 3. Selves in Interaction: Heretics, Fundamentalists and Improvisers 4. Double Jeopardy and the Moral Regulation of the Self 5. Co-ordination, Co-operation and Bargaining 6. "Rationality" and Partnership 7. Investments, Power and Autonomy 8. A Property-owning Democracy? 9. Social Policy Implications Appendix A: The Research Study Appendix B: Pseudonyms and family structure Index

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Bill Jordan, Marcus Redley and Simon James