New Book by UNC Law Professor Maxine Eichner: The Free-Market Family

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UNC Law’s own Maxine Eichner has recently published The Free Market Family: How the Market Crushed the American Dream (and How It Can Be Restored). Eichner is the Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Law and teaches in the areas of family law, gender, critical legal theory, and torts.

Eichner explores the cost that free market policies have taken on the American family over the past fifty years. She argues that the past fifty years of American politics have removed programs that assist families, leaving them to deal with rising inequality and instability in work with few if any safety nets.

Eichner examines work and family life at both ends of the economic spectrum; she shows how working-class families struggle with job precarity and how that affects family life, as well as the extremely long hours and high parenting demands of upper-class life. She argues that, contrary to public perception, these are not two separate problems, but are related through the dismantling of pro-family governmental programs over the past fifty years.

The Free Market Family is divided into three parts: the first explores various ways of measuring the well-being of families and how the U.S. is failing at most of them, the second addresses how we as a nation got into this predicament, and the third offers policy proposals for increasing the well-being of American families.

Eichner makes excellent use of a wide variety of data and statistical research throughout the book, but also interweaves stories of individual families to illustrate her points. She even includes stories about her own life and family, bringing a more personal tone to what could have been solely an academic text. The marriage of data and real-life examples, along with Eichner’s conversational tone, make for a book that should appeal to both academics and a wider popular audience.

Professor Eichner’s book is currently available in the law library.


Posted by Ellie Campbell on Mon. February 24, 2020 9:00 AM
Categories: Uncategorized


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