Black and Latino families are in fact highly family-oriented and want to be involved in exchange networks but, because they are economically disenfranchised, they are prevented from participation. The vitriolic debate on welfare reform currently sweeping the nation assumes that if institutional mechanisms of social support are eliminated, impoverished families will simply rely on an extensive web of kinship networks for their survival. The political discourse surrounding poverty and welfare reform has an increasingly racial undertone. Implementation of social policy that presupposes the availability of family safety nets in minority communities could have disastrous consequences for many without extended kin networks. Many scholars and political analysts assume that thriving kin and non-kin social support networks continue to characterize minority family life. Policy recommendations based on these underlying assumptions may lead to the implementation of harmful social policy. No More Kin examines extended kinship networks among African American, Chicano, Puerto-Rican, and non-Hispanic white families in contemporary America and seeks to provide an integrated theoretical framework for examining how the simultaneity of gender, race, and class oppression affects minority family organization. Breaking new ground in a variety of fields, No More Kin is sure to become a valuable resource for students and professionals in family studies, gender studies, and race/ethnic studies.
Takin' Care: The Role of Women
The purpose of this chapter is to determine whether there are significant racial differences in participation in social support networks and whether these differences can be attributed to cultural norms, socioeconomic factors, or a combination of the two. Based on the theoretical literature, which stresses the importance of reciprocal obligations between kin and nonkin, I examine help that respondents both give to and receive from family and nonfamily members. Because the descriptive analyses indicated that women of all racial-ethnic groups hold primary responsibility for child care, this chapter will examine the determinants of giving and receiving child care help from family and nonfamily members for women only.
Before discussing the final logistic ...