In Mothers Unite!, a bold and hopeful new rallying cry for changing the relationship between home and the workplace, Jocelyn Elise Crowley envisions a genuine, universal world of workplace flexibility that helps mothers who stay at home, those who work part time, and those who work full time balance their
commitments to their jobs and their families. Achieving this goal, she argues, will require a broad-based movement that harnesses the energy of existing organizations of mothers that already support workplace flexibility in their own ways.
Crowley examines the efforts of five diverse national mothers' organizations: Mocha Moms, which aims to assist mothers of color; Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), which stresses the promotion of Christian values; Mothers & More, which emphasizes support for those moving in and out of the paid workforce; MomsRising, which focuses on online political advocacy; and the National Association of Mothers' Centers (NAMC), which highlights community-based networking. After providing an engaging and detailed account of the history, membership profiles, strategies, and successes of each of these organizations, Crowley suggests actions that will allow greater workplace flexibility to become a viable reality and points to many opportunities to promote intergroup mobilization and unite mothers once and for all.
All across America, angry, dispossessed fathers are demanding rights. They argue that since the breakdown of their own families, they have been deprived of their most basic parental joys: the freedom to love and experience their children in the fullest ways possible.
They call themselves fathers’ rights groups, and they bring together mostly white, middle class men in small venues to speak their mind about the state of the American family, and more specifically, to articulate their objections to current child support and child custody policies as they pertain to dissolving families. Dissatisfied with these systems as they exist now, fathers’ rights groups advocate on behalf of legal reforms that will lower their child support payments and help them obtain automatic joint custody of their children.
Defiant Dads: Fathers’ Rights Activists in America, which relies on 158 in-depth interviews as well as direct observation of these groups in action, takes a hard, analytical view of fathers ’ rights organizations in the United States today to understand their concerns and their plans for fomenting social change. It represents an innovative break from past work on this topic by letting these fathers speak for themselves on these important issues.
Defiant Dads then goes a step further by analyzing the merits of these fathers’ claims. It incisively answers the following provocative questions: Why do they object to the current child support and child custody systems? Will their policy proposals related to child support and child custody reform, if enacted, serve to damage other members of the family unit, most importantly, women and children? What about the help that they offer to their members in terms of mending their relationships? More specifically, how well are these groups suited to deal with fathers’ interpersonal issues with their ex-partners and children? Do all members of the family— including women and children—benefit in equal ways from the legal and psychological services that these groups provide to their members? And finally, given this array of activities, how can we understand fathers’ rights groups’ prospects for success in achieving all of their goals in the future? Should we, as a country, be worried about their possible success?
Examining the efforts of leaders in American child support, this book explores the topic of policy innovation over a 100-year period. It tracks the evolution of multiple sets of political entrepreneurs as they grapple with the child support problem: charity workers with local law enforcement in the 19th
century; social workers through the 1960s; conservatives during the 1970s; women's groups and women legislators in the 1980s; and fathers' rights groups in the 1990s and beyond.