Doing the Best I Can

Fatherhood in the Inner City

Author: Kathryn Edin,Timothy J. Nelson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520955137

Category: Social Science

Page: 294

View: 4274

Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as "deadbeat dads." Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship’s demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father-child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. Intimate interviews with more than 100 fathers make real the significant obstacles faced by low-income men at every step in the familial process: from the difficulties of romantic relationships, to decision-making dilemmas at conception, to the often celebratory moment of birth, and finally to the hardships that accompany the early years of the child's life, and beyond.
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Doing the Best I Can

Fatherhood in the Inner City

Author: Kathryn Edin,Timothy J. Nelson

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520274067

Category: Social Science

Page: 284

View: 3986

Examines the shifting paradigm of unmarried fatherhood in inner cities in the United States, citing how economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor.
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Shadow Mothers

Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering

Author: Cameron Lynne Macdonald

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520947819

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2980

Shadow Mothers shines new light on an aspect of contemporary motherhood often hidden from view: the need for paid childcare by women returning to the workforce, and the complex bonds mothers forge with the "shadow mothers" they hire. Cameron Lynne Macdonald illuminates both sides of an unequal and complicated relationship. Based on in-depth interviews with professional women and childcare providers— immigrant and American-born nannies as well as European au pairs—Shadow Mothers locates the roots of individual skirmishes between mothers and their childcare providers in broader cultural and social tensions. Macdonald argues that these conflicts arise from unrealistic ideals about mothering and inflexible career paths and work schedules, as well as from the devaluation of paid care work.
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The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood

Author: Sharon Hays

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300076523

Category: Social Science

Page: 252

View: 4217

While women are expected to be nurturing and unselfish in their role as mothers, they are expected to be competitive and even ruthless at work. Drawing on ideas about mothering since the Middle Ages, on contemporary childrearing manuals, and on in-depth interviews, Hays shows that 'intensive mothering' is a powerful contemporary ideology. These unrealistic expectations of mothers, she suggests, reflect a deep cultural ambivalence about the pursuit of self-interest.
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Poverty and the Underclass

Changing Perceptions of the Poor in America

Author: William A. Kelso

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814749003

Category: Political Science

Page: 352

View: 8347

The much-heralded War on Poverty has failed. The number of children living in poverty is steadily on the rise and an increasingly destructive underclass brutalizes urban neighborhoods. America's patience with the poor seems to have run out: even cities that have traditionally been havens for the homeless are arresting, harassing, and expelling their street people. In this timely work, William Kelso analyzes how the persistence of poverty has resulted in a reversal of liberal and conservative positions during the last thirty years. While liberals in the 1960s hoped to eliminate the causes of poverty, today they increasingly seem resigned to merely treating its effects. The original liberal objective of giving the poor a helping hand by promoting equal opportunity has given way to a new agenda of entitlements and equal results. In contrast, conservatives who once suggested that trying to eliminate poverty was futile, now seek ways to eradicate the actual causes of poverty. Poverty and the Underclass suggests that the arguments of both the left and right are misguided and offers new explanations for the persistence of poverty. Looking beyond the codewords that have come to obscure the debate—underclass, family values, the culture of poverty,—Kelso emphasizes that poverty is not a monolithic condition, but a vast and multidimensional problem. During his Presidential campaign, Bill Clinton called for an overhaul of the welfare system and spoke of a new covenant to unite both the left and right in developing a common agenda for fighting poverty. In this urgent, landmark work, William Kelso merges conservative, radical, and liberal ideals to suggest how the intractable problem of poverty may be solved at long last by implementing the principles of this new covenant.
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Failing Our Fathers

Confronting the Crisis of Economically Vulnerable Nonresident Fathers

Author: Ronald B. Mincy,Monique Jethwani,Serena Klempin

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199371148

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 7857

Maligned as "deadbeat dads" or sexually and financially irresponsible inner-city fathers and overlooked in discussions of poverty and family policy, economically vulnerable nonresident fathers are a greatly misunderstood population. Failing Our Fathers summarizes the most recent quantitative and qualitative research, and undertakes new analyses to fill in important gaps, to produce a comprehensive picture of who these fathers are, what types of relationships they have with their families and children, and the challenges they face meeting what their loved ones and taxpayers expect from them. The great majority of these men see their children on a regular basis, despite the financial, legal, and extra-legal barriers they face. Besides requiring fathers to support their children, we must enable them to do so by supplementing their earnings and supporting their co-parenting, in ways that parallel how we require and enable vulnerable single mothers to support their children. The book lays out specific reforms required to achieve this goal as well as tips for those resources for economically vulnerable nonresident fathers.
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$2.00 a Day

Living on Almost Nothing in America

Author: Kathryn J. Edin,H. Luke Shaefer

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544303245

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 5956

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year “A remarkable book that could very well change the way we think about poverty in the United States.” — New York Times Book Review “Powerful . . . Presents a deeply moving human face that brings the stunning numbers to life. It is an explosive book . . . The stories will make you angry and break your heart.” — American Prospect Jessica Compton’s family of four would have no income if she didn’t donate plasma twice a week at her local donation center in Tennessee. Modonna Harris and her teenage daughter, Brianna, in Chicago, often have no food but spoiled milk on weekends. After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before — households surviving on virtually no cash income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million households, including about three million children. Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Through this book’s eye-opening analysis and many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality. “Harrowing . . . [An] important and heart-rending book, in the tradition of Michael Harrington’s The Other America.” — Los Angeles Times
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Divided by Borders

Mexican Migrants and Their Children

Author: Joanna Dreby

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520945832

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 2666

Since 2000, approximately 440,000 Mexicans have migrated to the United States every year. Tens of thousands have left children behind in Mexico to do so. For these parents, migration is a sacrifice. What do parents expect to accomplish by dividing their families across borders? How do families manage when they are living apart? More importantly, do parents' relocations yield the intended results? Probing the experiences of migrant parents, children in Mexico, and their caregivers, Joanna Dreby offers an up-close and personal account of the lives of families divided by borders. What she finds is that the difficulties endured by transnational families make it nearly impossible for parents' sacrifices to result in the benefits they expect. Yet, paradoxically, these hardships reinforce family members' commitments to each other. A story both of adversity and the intensity of family ties, Divided by Borders is an engaging and insightful investigation of the ways Mexican families struggle and ultimately persevere in a global economy.
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Making Ends Meet

How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work

Author: Kathryn Edin,Laura Lein

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610441753

Category: Social Science

Page: 340

View: 2983

Welfare mothers are popularly viewed as passively dependent on their checks and averse to work. Reformers across the political spectrum advocate moving these women off the welfare rolls and into the labor force as the solution to their problems. Making Ends Meet offers dramatic evidence toward a different conclusion: In the present labor market, unskilled single mothers who hold jobs are frequently worse off than those on welfare, and neither welfare nor low-wage employment alone will support a family at subsistence levels. Kathryn Edin and Laura Lein interviewed nearly four hundred welfare and low-income single mothers from cities in Massachusetts, Texas, Illinois, and South Carolina over a six year period. They learned the reality of these mothers' struggles to provide for their families: where their money comes from, what they spend it on, how they cope with their children's needs, and what hardships they suffer. Edin and Lein's careful budgetary analyses reveal that even a full range of welfare benefits—AFDC payments, food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies—typically meet only three-fifths of a family's needs, and that funds for adequate food, clothing and other necessities are often lacking. Leaving welfare for work offers little hope for improvement, and in many cases threatens even greater hardship. Jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled women provide meager salaries, irregular or uncertain hours, frequent layoffs, and no promise of advancement. Mothers who work not only assume extra child care, medical, and transportation expenses but are also deprived of many of the housing and educational subsidies available to those on welfare. Regardless of whether they are on welfare or employed, virtually all these single mothers need to supplement their income with menial, off-the-books work and intermittent contributions from family, live-in boyfriends, their children's fathers, and local charities. In doing so, they pay a heavy price. Welfare mothers must work covertly to avoid losing benefits, while working mothers are forced to sacrifice even more time with their children. Making Ends Meet demonstrates compellingly why the choice between welfare and work is more complex and risky than is commonly recognized by politicians, the media, or the public. Almost all the welfare-reliant women interviewed by Edin and Lein made repeated efforts to leave welfare for work, only to be forced to return when they lost their jobs, a child became ill, or they could not cover their bills with their wages. Mothers who managed more stable employment usually benefited from a variety of mitigating circumstances such as having a relative willing to watch their children for free, regular child support payments, or very low housing, medical, or commuting costs. With first hand accounts and detailed financial data, Making Ends Meet tells the real story of the challenges, hardships, and survival strategies of America's poorest families. If this country's efforts to improve the self-sufficiency of female-headed families is to succeed, reformers will need to move beyond the myths of welfare dependency and deal with the hard realities of an unrewarding American labor market, the lack of affordable health insurance and child care for single mothers who work, and the true cost of subsistence living. Making Ends Meet is a realistic look at a world that so many would change and so few understand.
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It Takes a Family

Conservatism and the Common Good

Author: Rick Santorum

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 1497636345

Category: Political Science

Page: 475

View: 5742

Rick Santorum made his name in the 2012 presidential race with his principled conservatism. To understand Santorum’s worldview and vision for America, there is no better source than his New York Times bestselling book, It Takes a Family. It Takes a Family is one of the most profound and comprehensive books of political thought ever written by a politician. Santorum offers a penetrating look at the social, political, and economic shifts that have hurt American families—and a principled, genuinely conservative plan for reversing this slide. Here Santorum explains his core beliefs, laying out a humane vision that he believes must inform public policy if it is to be effective and just. Politicians of both parties, he shows, fail to address the way Americans truly live their lives: in families, neighborhoods, churches, and communities. It Takes a Family is animated by an appreciation for the civic bonds that unite a community—an appreciation that lies at the heart of genuine conservatism.
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Sociology

Exploring the Architecture of Everyday Life

Author: David M. Newman

Publisher: Pine Forge Press

ISBN: 1412987296

Category: Social Science

Page: 601

View: 3194

Continuing his tradition of highly engaging, trade-like writing, best-selling author David Newman once again starts in a familiar place—the everyday world—and then introduces sociological concepts and institutions as they influence students’ daily existence. Full of vivid, real-world examples and touching personal vignettes, this text offers a solid introduction to basic sociological concepts and helps students realize their role in constructing, planning, maintaining, and fixing society.
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It's Not Like I'm Poor

How Working Families Make Ends Meet in a Post-Welfare World

Author: Sarah Halpern-Meekin,Kathryn Edin,Laura Tach,Jennifer Sykes

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520959221

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 2229

The world of welfare has changed radically. As the poor trade welfare checks for low-wage jobs, their low earnings qualify them for a hefty check come tax time—a combination of the earned income tax credit and other refunds. For many working parents this one check is like hitting the lottery, offering several months’ wages as well as the hope of investing in a better future. Drawing on interviews with 115 families, the authors look at how parents plan to use this annual cash windfall to build up savings, go back to school, and send their kids to college. However, these dreams of upward mobility are often dashed by the difficulty of trying to get by on meager wages. In accessible and engaging prose, It’s Not Like I’m Poor examines the costs and benefits of the new work-based safety net, suggesting ways to augment its strengths so that more of the working poor can realize the promise of a middle-class life.
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The Shriver Report

A Woman's Nation Pushes Back from the Brink

Author: Maria Shriver,Center for American Progress

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1137279745

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 3283

Presents an in-depth look at American women and families around transformational moments in history, with new data and commentary on the current status of women in America.
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No Man's Land

Men's Changing Commitments to Family and Work

Author: Kathleen Gerson

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 9780465051205

Category: Social Science

Page: 366

View: 5776

What does it mean to be a man in a world where women are almost as likely as men to shoulder the responsibilities of supporting a family? Why do some men still choose to be traditional breadwinners while others flee the responsibilities of parenthood altogether, and still others become infinitely more involved in family life than earlier generations of men? Here’s a look at how men are coping with the gender revolution.
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Coming of Age in the Other America

Author: Stefanie DeLuca,Susan Clampet-Lundquist,Kathryn Edin

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

ISBN: 1610448588

Category: Social Science

Page: 318

View: 767

Recent research on inequality and poverty has shown that those born into low-income families, especially African Americans, still have difficulty entering the middle class, in part because of the disadvantages they experience living in more dangerous neighborhoods, going to inferior public schools, and persistent racial inequality. Coming of Age in the Other America shows that despite overwhelming odds, some disadvantaged urban youth do achieve upward mobility. Drawing from ten years of fieldwork with parents and children who resided in Baltimore public housing, sociologists Stefanie DeLuca, Susan Clampet-Lundquist, and Kathryn Edin highlight the remarkable resiliency of some of the youth who hailed from the nation’s poorest neighborhoods and show how the right public policies might help break the cycle of disadvantage. Coming of Age in the Other America illuminates the profound effects of neighborhoods on impoverished families. The authors conducted in-depth interviews and fieldwork with 150 young adults, and found that those who had been able to move to better neighborhoods—either as part of the Moving to Opportunity program or by other means—achieved much higher rates of high school completion and college enrollment than their parents. About half the youth surveyed reported being motivated by an “identity project”—or a strong passion such as music, art, or a dream job—to finish school and build a career. Yet the authors also found troubling evidence that some of the most promising young adults often fell short of their goals and remained mired in poverty. Factors such as neighborhood violence and family trauma put these youth on expedited paths to adulthood, forcing them to shorten or end their schooling and find jobs much earlier than their middle-class counterparts. Weak labor markets and subpar postsecondary educational institutions, including exploitative for-profit trade schools and under-funded community colleges, saddle some young adults with debt and trap them in low-wage jobs. A third of the youth surveyed—particularly those who had not developed identity projects—were neither employed nor in school. To address these barriers to success, the authors recommend initiatives that help transform poor neighborhoods and provide institutional support for the identity projects that motivate youth to stay in school. They propose increased regulation of for-profit schools and increased college resources for low-income high school students. Coming of Age in the Other America presents a sensitive, nuanced account of how a generation of ambitious but underprivileged young Baltimoreans has struggled to succeed. It both challenges long-held myths about inner-city youth and shows how the process of “social reproduction”—where children end up stuck in the same place as their parents—is far from inevitable.
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Handbook of Father Involvement

Multidisciplinary Perspectives

Author: Natasha J. Cabrera,Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135654239

Category: Psychology

Page: 256

View: 2588

This book brings together experts from diverse scientific disciplines who share an interest in the topic of father involvement. Unlike most books in the field, which tend to solely draw from a psychological perspective, this Handbook merges theories and research from the unique fields of psychology, economics, demography sociology, anthropology, and social policy. For the most part, research on fathering is motivated by concern for children's well-being. Social scientists share a core set of questions, including: *"Who are fathers?" *"What is father involvement and how does it affect children and families?" *"What are the determinants of father involvement?" *"How do cultural contexts shape fathers' roles in families?" This Handbook sheds light on how a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of fathering can advance knowledge about these fundamental questions. This integrative approach is fundamental to a comprehensive understanding of human development generally, and to fathering more specifically. At the core of this book are the goals of describing and understanding the nature, antecedents, and consequences of father involvement across biological status, family structure, culture, and stages in children's development--both within and across scientific boundaries. Each of the scientific disciplines represented offers unique methodological and theoretical approaches to the study of fathering and to the interpretation of behavioral patterns that characterize ecological systems that include--as well as extend beyond--family units. Together, the chapters offer provocative and challenging insight into the nature and meaning of fatherhood and father involvement by questioning longstanding assumptions about fathers' roles in the lives of families and children in current history.
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Understanding Families

Supportive Approaches to Diversity, Disability, and Risk

Author: Marci J. Hanson,Eleanor W. Lynch

Publisher: Brookes Pub

ISBN: 9781598572155

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 282

View: 4512

Meet the needs of today's diverse American families with the second edition of this cornerstone textbook for early childhood professionals. With timely NEW information on demographic changes, cultural and linguistic diversity, effects of the recession, and infant mental health.
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Promises I Can Keep

Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage

Author: Kathryn Edin,Maria Kefalas

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520932975

Category:

Page: 298

View: 9464

Millie Acevedo bore her first child before the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to care for her newborn. Now 27, she is the unmarried mother of three and is raising her kids in one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. Would she and her children be better off if she had waited to have them and had married their father first? Why do so many poor American youth like Millie continue to have children before they can afford to take care of them? Over a span of five years, sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas talked in-depth with 162 low-income single moms like Millie to learn how they think about marriage and family. "Promises I Can Keep "offers an intimate look at what marriage and motherhood mean to these women and provides the most extensive on-the-ground study to date of why they put children before marriage despite the daunting challenges they know lie ahead.
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Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality

Diverging Destinies

Author: Paul R. Amato,Alan Booth,Susan M. McHale,Jennifer Van Hook

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319083082

Category: Social Science

Page: 242

View: 2558

The widening gap between the rich and the poor is turning the American dream into an impossibility for many, particularly children and families. And as the children of low-income families grow to adulthood, they have less access to opportunities and resources than their higher-income peers--and increasing odds of repeating the experiences of their parents. Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality probes the complex relations between social inequality and child development and examines possibilities for disrupting these ongoing patterns. Experts across the social sciences track trends in marriage, divorce, employment, and family structure across socioeconomic strata in the U.S. and other developed countries. These family data give readers a deeper understanding of how social class shapes children's paths to adulthood and how those paths continue to diverge over time and into future generations. In addition, contributors critique current policies and programs that have been created to reduce disparities and offer suggestions for more effective alternatives. Among the topics covered: Inequality begins at home: the role of parenting in the diverging destinies of rich and poor children. Inequality begins outside the home: putting parental educational investments into context. How class and family structure impact the transition to adulthood. Dealing with the consequences of changes in family composition. Dynamic models of poverty-related adversity and child outcomes. The diverging destinies of children and what it means for children's lives. As new initiatives are sought to improve the lives of families and children in the short and long term, Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality is a key resource for researchers and practitioners in family studies, social work, health, education, sociology, demography, and psychology.
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Strangers No More

Immigration and the Challenges of Integration in North America and Western Europe

Author: Richard Alba,Nancy Foner

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400865905

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 335

Strangers No More is the first book to compare immigrant integration across key Western countries. Focusing on low-status newcomers and their children, it examines how they are making their way in four critical European countries—France, Germany, Great Britain, and the Netherlands—and, across the Atlantic, in the United States and Canada. This systematic, data-rich comparison reveals their progress and the barriers they face in an array of institutions—from labor markets and neighborhoods to educational and political systems—and considers the controversial questions of religion, race, identity, and intermarriage. Richard Alba and Nancy Foner shed new light on questions at the heart of concerns about immigration. They analyze why immigrant religion is a more significant divide in Western Europe than in the United States, where race is a more severe obstacle. They look at why, despite fears in Europe about the rise of immigrant ghettoes, residential segregation is much less of a problem for immigrant minorities there than in the United States. They explore why everywhere, growing economic inequality and the proliferation of precarious, low-wage jobs pose dilemmas for the second generation. They also evaluate perspectives often proposed to explain the success of immigrant integration in certain countries, including nationally specific models, the political economy, and the histories of Canada and the United States as settler societies. Strangers No More delves into issues of pivotal importance for the present and future of Western societies, where immigrants and their children form ever-larger shares of the population.
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