Learning and Legislating Love: Family Inequality and U.S. Marriage Education Policy

04/28/2017 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way
 
Center for Ethnographic Research presents:
 

Learning and Legislating Love:
Family Inequality and U.S. Marriage Education Policy

Jennifer Randles
Assistant Professor, Sociology, CSU Fresno


with Jill Duerr Berrick
Zellerbach Family Foundation Professor, School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley, as respondent 


Friday, April 28
12:00-1:30pm

Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

**Books will be available for sale and signing

The U.S. federal Healthy Marriage Initiative has spent almost $1 billion since 2002 to fund hundreds of relationship and marriage education programs across the country. Randles spent three years attending healthy marriage classes and interviewing the couples who took them to understand what marriage education policy reveals about political understandings of how romantic experiences, relationship behaviors, and marital choices are primary mechanisms of inequality. In this talk, she will take the audience inside the marriage education classroom to reveal how healthy marriage policy promotes the idea that preventing poverty depends on individuals’ abilities to learn about skilled love, a strategy that assumes individuals can learn to love in line with long-term marital commitment by developing rational romantic values, emotional competencies, and interpersonal habits. She will ultimately show how the teaching of skilled love is a misguided political strategy intended to prevent risky and financially costly relationship choices and to provide the ostensible link between marriage and financial stability. 

Co-sponsored by Center for Race and Gender, Department of Sociology, and Department of Gender & Women's Studies, UC Berkeley

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