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African American Families

African American Families

© 2007 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
This book provides students with a systematic sociological study of contemporary life for families of African descent living in the United States. Because it deals with issues facing African American families, it covers ground that is often considered, such as marriage and fertility rates, non-marital births, age at first birth, etc., but the authors also deal with several issues slighted or ignored in texts about African American family life, including disproportionately high rates of incarceration, family violence, and chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Also departing from previous books, the authors examine ways in which individual choice (e.g., choosing to use drugs, choosing to engage in unprotected sex, choosing to drop out of school) intersects with the larger societal factors and constraints. All these indices are woven together and cry out foráa new look at African American family situations that this book will provide. The authors hope to capture the complexities and nuances of a web of factors, thereby helping students explore both structural and individual explanations for problems facing many African American families today.
1. African American Families: A Brief Introduction
What We Hope to Accomplish  
The Question of Social Class  
Data Sources  
Organization of the Book  
2. African American Civil Society: Issues, Approaches, Demography, and Theory
Race as a Social Construct  
African American Families  
Structural Versus Individual Explanations  
African American Families: A Profile  
Theoretical Approaches to Studying African American Families  
Data and Methods  
3. Family Formation, Marriage Rates, and Cohabitation
Factors That Affect Family Form  
Functions and Purposes of Marriage  
Marriage Patterns  
The Marriage Gap  
In Their Own Words  
Race, Class, and Gender Analysis  
Summary: Outcomes of the Low Marriage Rate  
4. Childbearing and Childrearing Patterns
Childbearing Patterns  
Nonmarital Births  
Race, Class, and Gender Paradigm  
5. Intimate Partner Violence
The Problem  
The Family Violence Approach  
The Feminist Paradigm  
Race, Class, and Gender Approach to Studying IPV  
The Dirty Little Secret: IPV in the African American Community  
African American Women as Victims/Survivors of IPV: Statistics/Rates  
Men and Masculinity  
Race, Class, and Gender Paradigm  
6. HIV and Other Social and Health Issues
The State of Health and Well-Being in African American Civil Society  
Racial Disparities in Chronic Diseases  
Racial Disparities in HIV/AIDS  
Leading Causes of Death  
Infant Mortality  
Outcomes of Poor Health: Premature Death  
Causes of Poor Health and Death  
Environmental Injustice  
The Politics of Health Care  
The Genetics (and Politics) of Race/Ethnicity and Health  
Race, Class and Gender Paradigm  
7. Access to Opportunity: Educational Attainment and Occupational Segregation
A Brief History of Race and Education  
Educational Attainment  
Access to Education: Legacy  
The Economy  
Race, Class, and Gender: African American Women's History of Work  
Occupations and Work  
Occupational Segregation: The Impact of Race and Gender  
Causes of Occupational Segregation  
Outcomes of Occupational Segregation  
Financial Outcomes: Lower Earnings  
Race, Class, and Gender Paradigm  
8. Welfare and Wealth
Income Versus Wealth  
Income and Income Disparities  
Wealth and Wealth Disparities  
Wealth Disparities and Access to the American Dream?  
A Clear Illustration: Hurricane Katrina  
Welfare Reform  
Stereotypes About Welfare and Poverty  
Welfare Versus Work  
Welfare Reform and Family Values  
Welfare Reform and Incarceration, or African American Mothers Are Crackheads  
Race, Class, and Gender Analysis  
9. African American Males and the Incarceration Problem: Not Just Confined to Prison
Prisons as Total Institutions  
The Growth of Prisons: Institutions and Population  
The Purpose of Prison: Rehabilitation or a Tool of Capitalism?  
The Demographics of the Prison Population: Race and Gender  
Explaining Racial Disparities in Incarceration  
The Effects of Incarceration on the Lives of Young African American Men  
Felony Disenfranchisement  
Other Bans-Social Services  
Race, Class, and Gender Paradigm  
10. Conclusion: Solutions to a Longstanding Problem: Race, Class, and Patriarchy in the 21st Century
Summary and Review of the Primary Themes  
Degrees of Separation  
A Snapshot of the African American Family  
The Struggles  
The Causes  
Family Form  
The Relationship Between Structural Forces and Individual Choices  
What Is To Be Done?  
Structural Forces: Race, Class, and Gender  
Final Thoughts  
About the Authors

I am excited about the content provided in this book. It will be used in my COUN 632 Family and Couples Counseling courses as a supplemental, recommended textbook purchase.

Dr Tracey M Duncan
Education , New Jersey City University
October 17, 2015

Needed an updated sociology of the african american textbook; this book received 4 out of 4 recommendations

Ms Joyce Shaw
Social Sciences Dept, Elizabeth City State University
August 22, 2011

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