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Coastal Studies Center

Family, Citizenship and Inequality in America Today

A Symposium to examine the role of family and parenthood in the nation's current atmosphere of extreme social inequality and extreme political partisanship

Thursday & Friday, April 5-6, 2012 (see the schedule for details)
Main and Lancaster Lounges, Moulton Union

Today the way people parent - when they have children and how they raise them - closely correlates both to social class and to political loyalties.  Many commentators believe that that the nation is "splitting apart" into two groups with different kinds of families.  They believe that differences in parenting, especially the rise in single parenthood among low income groups, is the driving force behind this growing inequality.  They wonder how public policy might address it, and how we might agree on a strategy to adopt.

The New Politics of Parenthood examines both the premises of this debate, and the political difficulties of finding solutions.  Bringing together scholars and leaders of organizations confronting the problems of poverty, the symposium will address the fundamental questions:  What is the role of family and parenthood in creating the profound inequality that marks America today?  And do our ideas about family make it harder to find political solutions to the problems of inequality?

Red Familes v Blue Familes, from the cover of the book co-authored by June Carbone 

This program is hosted by Brian Duff, Bowdoin College's Coastal Studies Scholar 2011-2012. The lectures, and panel discussions are free and open to the public. Funding for the symposium is from Bowdoin College and the Charles Weston Pickard Lecture Fund.

For more information conatact Rosemary Armstrong at 207-725-3396