All across America, angry fathers are demanding rights. These
men claim that since the breakdown of their own families, they have
been deprived of access to their children. Joining together to form
fathers' rights groups, the mostly white, middle-class men meet in
small venues to speak their minds about the state of the American
family and, more specifically, to talk about the problems they
personally face, for which they blame current child support and
child custody policies. Dissatisfied with these systems, 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.
In Defiant Dads, Jocelyn Elise Crowley offers a
balanced examination of these groups in order to understand why
they object to the current child support and child custody systems;
what their political agenda, if enacted, would mean for their
members' children or children's mothers; and how well they deal
with their members' interpersonal issues concerning their
ex-partners and their role as parents. Based on interviews with
more than 150 fathers' rights group leaders and members, as well as
close observation of group meetings and analysis of their rhetoric
and advocacy literature, this important book is the first
extensive, in-depth account of the emergence of fathers' rights
groups in the United States. A nuanced and timely look at an
emerging social movement, Defiant Dads is a revealing
investigation into the changing dynamics of both the American
family and gender relations in American society.
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