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2009-11-01 08:55 pm (UTC)
Okay, one book I could lend you is Nancy Cott,
Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
--history with a strong focus on the legal issues. We already read (but I've already loaned out) Chrys Ingraham's
White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture
, a pretty glossy sort of book. And there's a lot about marriage in Gwendolyn Mink's
, which I could also lend you if you're interested.
I can't quite reconstruct the whole economics/marriage argument, but I remember an anecdote that always stayed with me: during the same session of Congress that required single mothers to take unpaid jobs to "earn" welfare (thus requiring them to pay someone less-than-welfare wages to look after their children), legislation also allowed married women who did not earn an income to contribute to tax-free IRAs (with their husband's earnings, presumably, even though an IRA normally has to come from wages). Which basically says: if you're poor, childcare isn't work, but if you're middle-class, it is. Stuck with me!
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