State of our Unions

  title={State of our Unions},
  author={Melanie Heath},
  journal={Gender \& Society},
  pages={27 - 48}
  • M. Heath
  • Published 2009
  • Sociology
  • Gender & Society
Marriage promotion is a government strategy aimed at ensuring that children are raised in married, heterosexual families, preferably by their biological parents. This article places critical heterosexuality studies in dialogue with feminist state theory to examine marriage promotion as a reaction of the gendered and sexualized state to crisis tendencies of institutionalized heterosexuality. Drawing on the first in-depth study of marriage promotion politics, the author examines polycentric state… Expand
Redefining the Marital Power Struggle through Relationship Skills
In 2002, the United States federal government created the Healthy Marriage Initiative, a policy that has distributed almost $1 billion in welfare money to marriage education programs. Drawing onExpand
Parenting in Poverty and the Politics of Commitment: Promoting Marriage for Poor Families through Relationship Education
The federal government has recently taken an unprecedented role in actively promoting marriage through social policies to address family instability and poverty in America. In 1996, CongressExpand
Sexual Misgivings: Producing Un/Marked Knowledge in Neoliberal Marriage Promotion Policies
This article draws on what Brekhus has called “the sociology of the unmarked” to illuminate the construction of knowledge in the debate over heterosexual marriage's significance in society. ItExpand
Learning and Legislating to Love: Marriage Promotion Policy and Family Inequality in America
In 1996, Congress overhauled welfare policy to encourage work and marriage as routes to economic self-sufficiency for poor American families. This led to the subsequent creation of the federalExpand
Marriage Promotion Policy and Family Inequality
In 1996, Congress overhauled welfare policy to promote marriage and work as ways to lift American families out of poverty. Almost all of the funding for governmental marriage promotion has beenExpand
Making Marriage Promotion into Public Policy: The Epistemic Culture of a Statewide Initiative
Though political sociologists have sought to understand how self-interest influences politics and policymaking, little research has examined the mechanisms involved in the relationship betweenExpand
Repackaging the “Package Deal”
In the 1996 overhaul of federal welfare legislation, Congress included provisions to promote employment, marriage, and responsible fatherhood to prevent poverty among low-income families. LittleExpand
Black LGB Identities and Perceptions of Same-Sex Marriage
  • J. Lee
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Journal of homosexuality
  • 2018
It is illustrated that (1) Black LGBs exhibit heterogeneous interpretation of the effects of same-sex marriage legalization on their lives based on their racial and sexual identities, and (2) same- sex marriage may provide Black L GBs the rationale to affirm their racial community membership as sexual minorities. Expand
This paper examines conceptions of gender identity and gender relations among youth in rural northern Namibia to see whether or not real life practices are meeting the requirements of legislationthatExpand
Obscuring Gender-Based Violence: Marriage Promotion and Teen Dating Violence Research
abstract This article argues that United States public policies have prioritized marriage and healthy relationship promotion over research and education about gendered violence in teen datingExpand


Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
EWe commonly think of marriage as a private matter between two people, a personal expression of love and commitment. In this pioneering history, Nancy F. Cott demonstrates that marriage is and alwaysExpand
Welfare Moms and the Two Grooms: The Concurrent Promotion and Restriction of Marriage in US Public Policy
Since the mid-1990s political and religious conservatives and reactionaries have constructed two seemingly contradictory threats to the American body politic: poor, presumably heterosexual, singleExpand
Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation
Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation. Nancy E Cott. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2000. 297 pp. ISBN 0-674-- 00320-9. $27.95 (cloth). In this synthesis of the substantialExpand
Homeboys, babies, men in suits : The state and the reproduction of male dominance
This article is a theoretically based ethnography of the gender practices of two state institutions. Feminist scholarship on the state has tended to conceptualize the state as a macro-levelExpand
Marriage and fatherhood policies, inspired by the Christian Right and backed by conservative think tanks, have gained widespread support based on moral framing of family issues and simplisticExpand
The Politics of Masculinity and the Ex-Gay Movement
The purpose of this research is to investigate the masculinity politics of the ex-gay movement, a loose-knit network of religious, scientific, and political organizations that advocates change forExpand
Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age
A generation ago Americans undertook a revolutionary experiment to redefine marriage. The results of this experiment separating marriage from childrearing are in, and they are bad news for childrenExpand
Feminist State Theory: Applications to Jurisprudence, Criminology, and the Welfare State
This chapter discusses developments in feminist state theory through a comparison of feminist interventions into jurisprudence, criminology, and welfare state theory. Early feminist work on the stateExpand
The deinstitutionalization of American marriage
This article argues that marriage has undergone a process of deinstitutionalization—a weakening of the social norms that define partners’ behavior—over the past few decades. Examples are presentedExpand
Is Marriage a Panacea? Union Formation among Economically Disadvantaged Unwed Mothers
Current U.S. government policy views marriage as an economic panacea for disadvantaged unwed mothers. In this article, we use retrospective family life history data from the 1995 National Survey ofExpand