populace. There is enough truth in hisnsketch of “human predators” runningnamok in the parks and streets of Americanncities that one begins to squirm. Butnjust as the attacks of his opponents onnmalls are overly simplistic and harsh,nCarlson’s portrait of the big bad city asnantinomy is too severe. In addition, henrefuses to come to grips with the ways innwhich many of the woes of big cities liennot only in the bewildering array ofnfederal policies and programs dumpednin their laps with insufficient resourcesnto carry out their efficient ministration,nbut in their status (since 1873 and thenDartmouth case) as playthings of giantncorporations which can move in, use ancity, even abuse it, and then escape ifnthings aren’t going their way.nMuch of the opposition to malls,nthen, comes not only from the predictablensnobbery of those who disdainnAmerican popular culture in any of itsnguises, but from folks seeking to preserventhe very values and virtues Carlsonnhimself cherishes. It seems oddnthat Carlson chides those who saw thenbuilding of a huge mall by PyramidnCompanies as a “threat to the Vermontnway of life.” Surely what they had innmind was the environmental disruption—nnot just the uprooting of localnecosystems huge construction oftennrequires, but putting small mom-andpopnshops that have somehow survivednon Main Street out of business. Mynhunch is that Carlson’s anti-elitismnmay, at times, push him into too strongnan endorsement of market forces asnexpressing, somehow, “popular democracy”nat work. It is not at all clearnto me that this is the case. At timesnsuch forces, with the enormous economicncompulsions that can benbrought to bear in and against a community,nrun roughshod over the popularnwill rather than enact it. Here onenwould have to go on a case-by-casenbasis. No grand overarching theory,nwhether political or economic, couldncover everything.nBut I have jumped ahead of mynstory. Let’s begin at Carlson’s beginning.nHe notes that the family “isnactually in the throes of basic upheaval.”nThe statistical evidence is clear —nsoaring rise in the rates of all the itemsnnoted above, including divorce. Carlsonnthen states his theses with admirablenclarity: (1) A central purpose of thenhuman species is reproduction, (2) Thenfamily is a universal institution, (3)nGovernments or states have “an infinitencapacity to harm or dismpt the familynand very limited ability to help it,” (4)n”The American system of liberal capitalismnholds an unusual relationshipnwith the family institution.” (Carlsonnftirther explains his fourth thesis byninsisting that “Capitalism needs thenfamily as regulator, or control, over theneconomic system’s baser instincts.” Butnthe family, by contrast, “does not neednindustrial capitalism to the same degree.”)nPoints (5) and (6), respectively,nare that a free society can easily accommodatenthe family “so long as thenfamily is seen as the repository ofnunique rights and obligations,” and,nfinally, that the negative turn of statisticsnmay overstate the case for social breakdown.nHe then moves to treat each thesis bynexamining six “questions”: Gender,nPopulation, Economic, Sexual, Age,nand the State. The many questionsnimbedded in each of these areas isndaunting. Because Carlson is determinednto cover so much, at times hisnanalyses are fiiistratingly truncated, toonabbreviated to do much more than hitnand mn. But the many items he hitsnbefore running are essential ones thatnput strong demands on analysts of othernstripes.nLet me note several areas of generalnagreement between Carlson and myselfnbefore I raise additional questions. Henseems to me right on target to remindnus that 50 percent of mothers of preschoolnage children do not work, contrarynto the constructions that nowndominate our discourse which makenstay-at-home mothers not only nighninvisible but tend to silence them as anresidual category not worthy of a strongnpublic voice. His yearning for a restorationnof some modem version of the oldnfamily wage idea is one I share, althoughnI do not share the normativenimplications he packs into it for femalendomesticity. I agree with him that muchnthat comes parading through town undernthe banner of “choice” is actually annew set of constraints and compulsions.nMore and more women, for example,ntestify that the “choice” to abort postamniocentesisnif they are carrying an”defective” child is nearly irresistible:nthey become “bad mothers” by carryingna child to term rather than abortingnnnit! “Choice” and “constraint” alwaysngo hand-in-hand.nCarlson is also right that an enormousnamount of outright silliness hasnbeen and is carried within the frame ofnprofessionalized academic discourses,nespecially those of “mental health.”nHe is correct to be dubious, and angered,nby those pathetic few who promotendestruction of the incest taboo asnjust another mode of cultural transformation.nHe is right to be outraged atnthe horrors perpetrated by eugenicistsnand their allies within the forces ofnprogressivism who bought the eugenicistnline and that led to the forcednsterilization of the so-called feeblemindednby the thousands in theninterwar period. He is appropriatelynoff-put by some feminist language thatncharacterizes motherhood (just one example)nas a “breeder-feeder role.”n(We’re not talking fanatical fringe here,neither, but respected mainstream folksnwho somehow fell into this kind ofnjudgmental usage. Who needs misogynistsnwhen your ostensible friends describenyou like that?)nFinally, he does well to point outnthat Planned Parenthood, as just onenexample, has always promulgated annormative vision, whether pro- ornantinatalist, and that its claims to thenneutral dispensing of information arenbogus. It is an interested outfit. Whethernone concurs or not with its interests,nit is dishonest to deny that they constitutena particular set of terms of inclusionnand exclusion for what is or is notnto count as “normal” or “appropriate”nsexuality and how it is to be achieved.nThey are pushing particular values; thenCatholic Church is pushing alternativenvalues, and so on. Of course theirnresearch studies are not disinterested.nBut this is the easy part. More difficultnby far is how we analyze the constructionnof problems and the promulgationnof solutions. Carlson loses his surefootednessnin this part of his task, innlarge part (it seems to me) becausenthere is an inevitable clash betweenn”macroeconomic” and “motivational”napproaches. The former looks at aggregatenoutcomes, and assesses some asnpreferable to others. The latter requiresnplumbing how and why individualsnact. To too readily collapse the motivationalndimension into the macroeconomicalngrinder is deeply problematic.nOCTOBER 1989/27n