Published on February 24, 2008
Families: Families Do Families Play an Important Role in Explaining Racial Inequality?: Do Families Play an Important Role in Explaining Racial Inequality? Positive Effects of Families Colin Powell Oprah Winfrey Adverse Effects of Families Yvette (Anderson: Code of the Street) Vietnamese refugee (Zhou and Bankston: Growing Up American) A Central Concern: Single Parent Families: A Central Concern: Single Parent Families Are single parent families more prevalent among racial and ethnic minority groups? Why? What are some of the differences in life chances associated with growing up in a single parent family? Slide4: Table 1: Percentage of children aged 0-17, by family living arrangements: 1990. Arrangements Group Total White Black Latino Asian American Indian Both Parents 72% 81 37 64 84 56 Father 4 3 6 6 3 7 Mother 20 13 49 24 9 30 Relatives 2 1 6 3 2 4 Other 2 2 3 3 2 3 Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 Source: Hogan and Lichter, 1996, Table 3.2, p. 105. Slide5: Table 2: Percentage of children aged 0-17 below the poverty line, by family living arrangements: 1989. Arrangements Percentage Poor Total White Black Latino Asian American Indian Overall 18 11 39 31 17 39 Both Parents 9 6 15 22 14 25 Father 23 15 34 33 20 49 Mother 46 34 57 55 39 60 Relatives 34 21 47 36 35 46 Source: Hogan and Lichter, 1996, Table 3.3, p. 107. What is a family?: What is a family? Nuclear Family Blended Family Extended Family Non-relatives? Moore: giveaways; Duneier: life on the street The Debate Over Single-Parent Families: The Debate Over Single-Parent Families Moynihan, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1967) Continuing racism Three centuries of sometimes unimaginable mistreatment “The Negro family in the urban ghetto is crumbling.” Alternative Views: Carol Stack, All My Kin: Alternative Views: Carol Stack, All My Kin Support networks outside the nuclear family Low income, not absence of father figure, seen as real problem Robin Jarrett: 1)low-income families can be stable; 2)important to examine the functioning of families, not just their demographic type Evidence: Evidence Family Structure as a risk factor Single parent families have become more prevalent: changes in sexual behavior, separation of childbearing and marriage; divorce Racial and ethnic differences in family structure Parental education, family size, neighborhoods also play a role Problems: Problems Low Incomes of Single-Mother Families Absentee Fathers and Child Support Teen Pregnancy Out-of-wedlock childbearing Possible Solutions: Possible Solutions Strengthen Social Programs Fatherhood Initiatives Sex Education and Improved Contraceptive Use Changing Numbers, Changing Needs: Changing Numbers, Changing Needs American Indian Families and Children in the 21st Century Themes: Themes In many respects, American Indian families are following the same trends as non-Indian families. In most respects, American Indian families are “worse off” than others. We find considerable variation across groups and reservations. We must do more to help families and children. Some illustrations, 1990: Some illustrations, 1990 USA Indian Reser Okla % child/2 par 70.2 54.4 48.8 65.5 % wom NM 23.4 29.7 37.1 21.7 % wom Div 9.5 12.8 9.5 12.4 % poor 13.1 31 50.7 29.8 % unemp 6.3 14.4 25.6 12.4 Variations Across Reservations: Variations Across Reservations Pine Ridge: 35.2% of children lived with two parents and 43.5% of women aged 15+ had never married. Navajo: 57.2% of children lived with two parents. Zuni: 31.3% of women aged 15+ had never married Enduring Ways of the Lac du Flambeau: Enduring Ways of the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwa or Chippewa: follows them through a year Roles of nuclear and extended families Cultural preservation Duneier, Sidewalk: Duneier, Sidewalk General Reactions to the book What made 6th Avenue a sustaining habitat? Was Local Law 33 a good idea or a bad idea? Wacquant, AJS (May 2002): Wacquant, AJS (May 2002) Duneier replaces negative stereotypes of street vendors, panhandlers, and scavengers with inverted cardboard cutouts. Parochial, solely American view of urban poor close to his subjects with insufficient attention to larger sociological theoretical issues Mad scramble for accessible books on sexy topics Duneier’s response: Duneier’s response Wacquant chooses to ignore the balanced portrayal of the good and bad behaviors of Sidewalk’s characters Ethnographers have tough choices to make in deciding how to present their findings and results. A major thrust of Duneier’s work has been to reveal the common elements of humanity.