• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

“Bravo to the authors! They have done an excellent job addressing the issues that are critical to community members, policy makers and interventionists concerned with Black families in the context of our nation.”—Michael C. Lambert, University of Missouri, Colombia“African American Families is a timely work. The strength of this text lies in the depth of coverage, clarity, and the ability to combine secondary sources, statistics and qualitative data to reveal the plight of African Americans in society.”—Edward Opoku-Dapaah, Winston-Salem State UniversityUses the lens provided by the race, class, and gender paradigm: Examples illustrate the ways in which multiple systems of oppression interact with patterns of self-defeating behavior to create barriers that deny many African Americans access to the American dream.Addresses issues not fully or adequately addressed in previous books on Black families: These issues include personal responsibility and disproportionately high rates of incarceration, family violence, and chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS. Brings statistical data to life: The authors weave personal stories based on interviews they’ve conducted into the usual data from scholarly(?) literature and from U.S. Census Bureau reports.Provides several illustrations from Hurricane Katrina: A contemporary analysis of a recent disaster demonstrates many of the issues presented in the book such as housing segregation and predatory lending practices.Offers extensive data tables in the appendices: Assembled in easy-to-read tables, students are given access to the latest national agencies data from agencies including the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, and Bureau of Justice Statistics.Intended Audience:This is an ideal textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses such as African American Families, Sociology of the Family, Contemporary Families, and Race and Ethnicity in the departments of Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology, African American Studies, and Black Studies.

Childbearing and Childrearing Patterns
Childbearing and childrearing patterns

The centrality of children in this lower-class worldview of what is important and meaningful in life stands in striking contrast to their low priority in the view of more affluent teens and twenty-something youth, who may want children at some point in the future, but only after an education, career, and other life goals have been achieved. Putting motherhood first makes sense in a social context where the achievements that middle-class youth see as their birthright are little more than pipe dreams: Children offer a tangible source of meaning, while other avenues for gaining social esteem and personal satisfaction appear vague and tenuous.

—Edin and Kefalas (2005), p. 49
Objectives
  • Use empirical data to examine the patterns of childbearing: marital, nonmarital, ...
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