Schaefer, Tali


Max Weber alumnus

Department of Law

Cohort(s): 2010/2011

Ph.D. Institution

Columbia University, United States


My research interests are Family Law, Law and Society, Gender and Law, Law and Emotions, Critical Realism, and Governmentality. My research agenda investigates how law influences, shapes and coerces parental behavior. More specifically, I focus on three themes.

First, what are the law’s implicit assumptions and “common sense” understandings about parents’ obligations to children and about the nature of the parent-child dyad. I place these assumptions in legal, cultural and historical contexts in order to challenge their seeming obviousness.

Second, how does the law use people’s status as parents to govern them. Particularly, what kind of self do legal regulation and legal practices encourage or intimidate parents into developing.

Third, what potential groups are likely to be disadvantaged by regulation resulting from the law’s hidden assumptions about parents and parenting.

I received my doctoral degree from Columbia Law School in October 2010. My doctoral dissertation, ‘The Regulation of Parenthood’, is concerned with legal efforts to dictate not only how parents raise their children, but how parents live their own lives.

I previously received an LL.M. from Columbia University (with honors), and an M.A. in Medieval History (summa cum laude) and an LL.B. (magna cum laude) from Tel Aviv University.

My publications include: Disposable Mothers: Paid In-Home Caretaking and the Regulation of Parenthood, 19 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 305 (2008); Saving Children or Blaming Parents? Lessons from Mandated Parenting Classes, 19 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 493 (2010); Over Their Fat Bodies: Children’s Health and the Regulation of Parenthood (work in progress).
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