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Proposing Prosperity?Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America$
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Jennifer M. Randles

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170307

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170307.001.0001

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Men, Money, and Marriageability

Men, Money, and Marriageability

Promoting Responsible Fatherhood through Marital Masculinity

6 Men, Money, and Marriageability
Proposing Prosperity?

Jennifer M. Randles

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyzes how the Thriving Families classes encouraged marriage by promoting what I call marital masculinity. This is the idea that, for men, marriage often comes before rather than after financial success and best encourages low-income fathers to become manly, successful providers by inspiring them to work harder and earn more money. The program targeted fathers’ masculine identities in two ways: first by emasculating fathers who merely provide financially for their children, and secondly by promoting a highly gendered idea of men’s caregiving by encouraging dads to focus on physical play and male role-modeling.

Keywords:   masculinity, marriage premium, responsible fatherhood, low-income men, male role-modeling, breadwinning

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