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Defiant Dads: Fathers' Rights Activists in America Hardcover – October 2, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0801446900 ISBN-10: 0801446902 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (October 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801446902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801446900
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,297,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Crowley has written a thorough, evenhanded account of the fathers' rights movement in the United States. To her credit, she conducted in-depth interviews with participants in these groups and observed them in action, as well as reviewed research studies. After reciting the history of such groups, the author analyzes their structure from a sociological perspective. In succeeding chapters, discussing child support laws, custody rules, and post-divorce family dynamics, she marshals statistics and anecdotes to address points made by fathers' rights advocates. While critical of the groups' political goals, which call for less state involvement in custody and child support, she defends their personal goal of more involvement by fathers with their children."—Library Journal, Febraury 2009

"Crowley has written an important, theoretically rich book that empirically examines the fathers' rights movement and engages a wide range of scholarship, including scholarship on family law and policy, feminism, social movements, and ideology and public policy. In examining the movement, she finds important positive aspects, such as its emphasis on responsible fatherhood, but she also notes the pervasive antifeminist and neoconservative-influenced antistatism of the movement. These are barriers to the movement's growth and effectiveness. Crowley importantly notes the problems with completely neutral approaches to issues of equality, particularly in the context of the movement's call for 50-50 arrangements in child custody and child support. This, of course, ignores the difficulties and burdens that mothers still face in the workforce, especially with continued child care expectations and employment discrimination. As a result, Crowley is rightly skeptical of the policy agenda of the movement for ignoring these continuing realities. Also interesting is the insight that the movement is still a genuine grassroots movement, having avoided the professionalization and elite dominance common to so many contemporary social movements. Summing Up: Highly recommended."—Choice, June 2009

"Defiant Dads contributes important new perspectives to the lively body of scholarship seeking to understand the gendering of politics; much of this work focuses on states' potential 'woman-friendliness,' while Crowley explores the strong antistate orientation of fathers' rights groups, grounded in tensions between these men's gendered understandings and the interventions of judges, child support officials, and legislatures in families."—Ann Shola Orloff, Northwestern University

"With the stroke of a pen granting divorce or custody, thousands of doting daddies turn into furious fathers who feel aggrieved by a process that deprives them of the kind of access to their children to which they feel entitled. Jocelyn Elise Crowley's strength as a researcher is that she gets inside these grievances. Her gift as a writer is that she explains these fathers' positions with neither caustic dismissal nor pandering acquiescence. A landmark study!"—Michael Kimmel, Stony Brook University, author of Manhood in America

"In Defiant Dads, Jocelyn Elise Crowley addresses an important and controversial set of questions about modern divorce parenthood and a key political movement related to family law. In offering an empirical study of the fathers' rights movement, Crowley makes a significant and original contribution. No other such works exist in the United States or elsewhere in terms of the numbers of groups, leaders, and members interviewed and studied."—Susan B. Boyd, University of British Columbia

From the Back Cover

"In Defiant Dads, Jocelyn Elise Crowley addresses an important and controversial set of questions about modern divorce parenthood and a key political movement related to family law. In offering an empirical study of the fathers' rights movement, Crowley makes a significant and original contribution. No other such works exist in the United States or elsewhere in terms of the numbers of groups, leaders, and members interviewed and studied."-Susan B. Boyd, University of British Columbia

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Customer Reviews

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She clearly states her bias: "the uniqueness of their mission does not automatically mean that their objectives have merit."
Paul M. Clements
Rather than buy this book that simply demonises fathers who want to see their kids post divorce and separation, buy the book FAMILY COURT HELL by Mark Harris instead.
plymouth dad.
You may be pleasantly surprised that providing equal rights to men in this area, would have secondary effects of enhancing equality for women in the workplace.
Lauren F. Naughton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Paul M. Clements on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you Google Jocelyn Elise Crowley, you'll find that she's a professor of Woman's Studies. So it's no wonder she's written a book that trashes the fathers rights movement. On the last page (269) we find the statement: "Why should men alter their political agenda to help secure equality for women?" Which is what she is proposing as the conclusion to this book. On page 11, she is talking about the goals of the fathers rights groups, and the three themes of the book. She clearly states her bias: "the uniqueness of their mission does not automatically mean that their objectives have merit." Indeed, Crowley finds no merit in ANYTHING fathers rights groups want. She admits, "that their stories are compelling," but trivializes their concerns. In doing so, Crowley renegs on the promises made to interviewees, and her claims of trying to be fair and unbiased. She admits that, "mothers retain primary physical custody in the OVERWHELMING percentage of cases", but denigrates claims of fathers that they are being discriminated against in family courts. Crowley goes on to say that "the push by fathers rights groups for equality with women completely discounts the disadvantages women must confront in contemporary American society." She thereby ignores the same fact she states so clearly above: mothers retain primary custody in the overwhelming percentage of cases." She misses the question her own words present: If men must push for equality with women, mustn't they, therefore,be UNEQUAL to begin with? Going on, she claims, "women work for less pay," (a reference to the feminists' "glass ceiling"), (an idea Dr. Warren Farrell has debunked in his book, Why Men Earn More)]]...Read more ›
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By plymouth dad. on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rather than buy this book that simply demonises fathers who want to see their kids post divorce and separation, buy the book FAMILY COURT HELL by Mark Harris instead. Family Court Hell is one man's story as he took on not only a hostile ex but also the corrupt family courts. The author, Mark Harris, in his drive for justice took to protesting outside courthouses and judges private homes and launched the worldwide Fathers 4 Justice movement. Not only did he take the establishment on, he won too! No thanks to any judge or lawyer though, but his 'never give up' attitude was seen by his daughters and when they got to an age where they could act for themselves, they simply ran away to the father they loved. This is the true story of what is happening to separated fathers in the western world, as told by one of the victims, FAMILY COURT HELL, a must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lauren F. Naughton on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've read your clever book, "Defiant Dads", and find it to be hogwash, masked as work of objective research. I truly found it most appalling and detrimental to the moral good. You wrote, referring to father's rights supporters, that the "uniqueness of the mission does not automatically mean that their objectives have merit," as if to leave a reader to believe that you are capable of being objective in the chapters that follow. As you so "insightfully" describe, in a condescending and dismissive manner, that the father's rights groups provide only theraputic value, and discount the validity of the real father's rights cause because in your seemingly simple mind you perceive the "political goals to be problematic."

It reminds me of the times when this country's most brilliant men formed similarly "objective" conclusions, based upon "scientific research", rationalizing why women should stay in the kitchen, and blacks in the fields as slaves. I read your positions as simply ignorant, and call into question the value of your PhD.

Your book only raises the real question: what has happened to you in your life that has caused you to become an "expert" on this issue, of all issues? Well the reader shall need to read no further than page 11 for a glimpse into what I believe is your true motive. It bubbled subtly to the surface in an acrimonious cry that the "father's rights groups push for equality with women completely discounts the disadvantages women must confront in contemporary American society." Ah that's it, well if women have disadvantages , then so shall men. That's quite mature.

So let me help connect the dots for you, Ms. PhD....
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard K. Stephens on September 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is important that all pro-family and pro-parent activists read this book closely -- not because it offers an accurate assement of the problems it discusses, but rather, because the book provides a blue-print for the anti-family strategy of (one camp of) the extremely influential social engineers who do so much to make sure children are raised bt the nanny state. The policy aims promuulgated by the author are directed at "domesticating" those pathers who are increasingly being pushed out of their children's lives.

In short, the ideal expressed in this book is to see fathers "helped" through supervision, intrusion, intervention into becoming obedient drones who allow themselves to be docile subjects, obedient to the control-freak priorities of bureaucrats who enforece the rule of big government. "Abolish the family!" said the Communist Manifesto in 1848.

The road to hell is paved by social engineers with therapeutic "solutions" used as paving stones.
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