Amber Lapp

Amber Lapp is a research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and co-investigator of the Love and Marriage in Middle America Project.


Unemployment and the Labors of Love Share This

Aug 10, 2021

The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America, by Sarah Damaske (Princeton University Press, 336 pp. $28) As I was reading sociologist Sarah Damaske’s new book, The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America, I was struck by a realization: though I’ve spent […]

Read More

Honoring Motherhood with Paid Leave Share This

May 07, 2021

Since Abigail Tucker’s book, Mom Genes: Inside the New Science of Our Ancient Maternal Instinct, was released a few days ago, I’ve been listening to the audiobook whenever I get a spare minute—while doing dishes, folding laundry, waiting in the school pickup carline, rocking the baby to sleep. My nine- and seven-year-old sons were fascinated […]

Read More

Should a Child Benefit Be Based on Marital and Employment Status? Share This

May 04, 2021

Re: Romney, Hawley, Rubio, and Lee’s Building Blocks for Family Policy

In his recent post, Oren Cass helpfully examines the existing family policy proposals put on the table by Republicans this year. As someone who cares a lot about marriage and family, it has been exciting to see this conversation unfold. But I can’t get rid of a nagging reaction that I have to the related […]

Read More

Single Mothers’ Attitudes About Work and Motherhood Share This

Feb 28, 2021

Gina, a single mother of three in southwestern Ohio, recently told me that being a mom saved her from despair and addiction. “It’s my life. It’s everything to me. It’s the reason I wake up every day.”  Other poor and working class women I’ve interviewed hold a similarly high view of motherhood connecting it closely […]

Read More

Is A Child Allowance Pro-Work for Poor Parents? Share This

Feb 25, 2021

To the current conversation about the merits and demerits of a child allowance, I would like to add another layer of perspective, drawn from the thoughts and experiences of women who are poor and working class. What keeps them from work? What helps them maintain it? I spent a recent weekend talking with five different […]

Read More

GameStop Populism Share This

Jan 31, 2021

In our populist moment, the categories of left and right are losing their currency. Underlying recent events—the Capitol riot of Jan 6 (a populist political uprising) and the GameStop saga (“the first populist uprising in finance”)—is the belief that the system is rotten. It’s a belief shared by populists on both sides, even as party […]

Read More

In Whom We Trust Share This

Jan 25, 2021

We watched the Inauguration on a laptop at our kitchen table while two toddlers nibbled chicken quesadillas and the baby fussed intermittently. As I was getting misty-eyed at JLo’s rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” and generally feeling a hopeful swell of patriotic sentiment (perhaps soaring highest at Amanda Gorman’s […]

Read More

Industrial Policy Must Account for Worker Attitudes Share This

Dec 31, 2020

In a recent post about the relationship between family trends and the skills gap I noted that for some of the young adults my husband David and I interviewed in southwestern Ohio, trauma and addiction make it difficult to take advantage of the employment opportunities that do exist. A second possible reason for the skills […]

Read More

Family Trauma and the Skills Gap Share This

Dec 17, 2020

Re: What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism

In a recent conversation hosted by American Compass, “What Next: A Multi-Ethnic, Working-Class Conservatism,” Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez discussed the skills gap. “[T]he number one issue that I hear from employers is, I have jobs, I could hire 10 people tomorrow, but either the folks don’t want to do the work that we have, or […]

Read More

Conservative Feminism and Market Fundamentalism Share This

Oct 28, 2020

In the weeks leading up to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as Supreme Court Justice, much was written about the new conservative feminism that Barrett arguably embodies. But as Ross Douthat asked in his column at The New York Times, “can there be a conservative feminism that’s distinctive, coherent and influential, at least beyond quirky religious […]

Read More

Tales of Bureaucratic Incompetence and the Sins of the Left and Right Share This

Oct 17, 2020

After working as a manager at Chick-Fil-A for four years, Elizabeth Nowowiejski, a married mother of two living in Toledo, began a new job as a patient coordinator at a medical office. Her first day was January 20, 2020. By March 18th her office was down to a skeleton staff due to Covid-19 and Elizabeth […]

Read More

Workers Are People, Not Widgets: An Epilogue Share This

Sep 30, 2020

Earlier this month my husband David and I wrote about Alex, a worker at an Ohio-based unionized factory, and the way the union saved his job after conflict with a supervisor. But there’s a fascinating plot twist that we learned about just before the essay went to press: a multinational corporation bought Alex’s company, and […]

Read More