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