Amber Lapp

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.

@AmberLappOH

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Is A College Degree the Only Way to Succeed? Share This

Sep 26, 2020

During his growing up years, Mark, an underemployed contract laborer in his 30s, often heard his mother describe their town as “the devil’s thumbprint.” The name alluded to both its literal location in a valley and its social stigma as the watering hole of riffraff. “You gotta go up the hill and get out,” Mark […]

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Workers Are People, Not Widgets Share This

Sep 09, 2020

Meet Alex and Lance, two blue-collar workers in southwestern Ohio. One had union representation as he sought a foothold in the labor market; the other did not. Their lives remind us that there is still power in a union.

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Women’s Work Preferences Are Diverse Share This

Aug 10, 2020

In less than 24 hours I will be wheeling my bag through the large revolving doors of the hospital, through the Covid screening point, and up the elevator to the ninth floor to deliver my fifth child due to a medically-necessary induction. Things are more or less ready, and so I find myself ruminating on […]

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Another Way 2020 Feels Like 1968 Share This

Jul 31, 2020

Earlier this month I visited the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, located at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. often stayed and where on April 4, 1968 he was assassinated while standing on the outside balcony, chatting with colleagues and getting ready for dinner. The museum has preserved the façade of the […]

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A Trailer in the Country: Working-Class Attitudes about Redistribution Share This

Jul 27, 2020

At the beginning of a lane of public housing units pink balloons mark the mailbox and a disposable tablecloth flutters in the wind, held down on a plastic table by a box of sprinkled cupcakes with high-topped icing and another box of assorted party favors. On the driveway a few people sit in more-or-less socially […]

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Is Hamilton a “Bootstraps” Story? Share This

Jul 01, 2020

As we tend to do with momentous occasions, I clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the first lines of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. It was a hot and humid day in August, my parents had the kids so I was prepping for an insulation project in our attic, and […]

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Should Congress Extend the $600 Federal Unemployment Benefit? Share This

Jun 26, 2020

In March as Ohio began to shut down, Emily—a thirtysomething mom who asked that I not use her real name—worried about her family, her neighbors, and especially the elderly. She posted on her town’s Facebook page offering to grocery shop for those unable to go to the store, or to share a meal with anyone […]

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Trickle-down Distrust Share This

May 15, 2020

Re: Whither Corruption and Conservatism? (Matt Stoller)

In his recent post Matt Stoller observes that a common theme at The Commons thus far is “the reemergence of the state as the key locus of legitimacy for the exercise of power” and urges conservatives to think about corruption and statecraft. What’s needed, he says, “is a vision of how to structure such a […]

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The Tipped Red Tricycle: Why Economic Growth Is Not Enough Share This

May 06, 2020

The house next door sits empty again. The neighbor across the street leaves a boys jacket on my porch that she scavenged from the overflowing boxes and bags of stuff lining the lawn for the trash man. “It’s a nice jacket—could one of your boys use it? Some of the things in the boxes still […]

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