Scapegoats and Aliens: Institutionalized Shame in Divorce Court and Mandatory Parenting Classes

Jennifer Young

Abstract: The article is a rhetorical analysis of a state-mandated parenting class for divorcing partners. The analysis is deployed through a gender and affect studies lens and preceded by a narrative account of a class in Ohio. The thesis of the article is that mandatory parenting classes are justified through rhetorical means rather than pragmatic ones; I suggest that the primary effect of the classes is to shame parents rather than to benefit children.

Keywords: Rhetoric, Parenting, Divorce, Shame, Public Policy, Discourse Analysis, Demagoguery, Scapegoating

Scapegoats and Aliens


Young, Jennifer. "Scapegoats and Aliens: Institutionalized Shame in Divorce Court and Mandatory Parenting Classes." Peitho 20.1 (2017): 63-84.