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The Supportive StateFamilies, Government, and America's Political Ideals$
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Maxine Eichner

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343212.001.0001

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Theorizing the Supportive State

Theorizing the Supportive State

(p.45) CHAPTER 2 Theorizing the Supportive State
The Supportive State

Maxine Eichner (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how liberal democratic theory would change if we took seriously the role of dependency in the human life cycle, and the role of families in dealing with dependency. It takes a closer look at how families should be conceptualized as a theoretical matter, and lays out a version of the family–state relationship that better facilitate important liberal democratic goods. In the book's “supportive state” model, family members bear the primary responsibility for caring for or arranging the care for other family members with dependency needs. The state, though, has a corresponding responsibility to facilitate this caretaking, and to organize other social institutions to support them in this fundamental task. The final sections of the chapter consider what role the current concept of family privacy should play in the supportive state.

Keywords:   privacy, families, caretaking, dependency, state, liberalism

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