Sociology African Americans
by
Alford A. Young, Jr.
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 October 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0040

Introduction

African Americans have been the focus of wide-ranging studies in sociology for more than a century. Research on this group has been central to the formation of the sociological subfields of race and ethnic relations, urban sociology, and the sociology of identity. In these and other subfields, sociologists have explored how African Americans experienced the transition from the rural South to northeastern and midwestern urban-based communities (occurring from the early to the mid-20th century during a period labeled the Great Migration), how and why they engaged in social protest activities during the late 1950s and 1960s, and how they have experienced and confronted the increasing poverty and socioeconomic despair that unfolded in American cities since the middle of the 20th century. Sociologists also have explored the social identity of African Americans as that identity has been transformed since the mid-20th century and as it has affected, and been affected by, intellectual and political transformations in multiraciality, gender, sexual orientation, and other identities.

General Overviews

These works explore the analytical designs and approaches taken in sociology to the study of African Americans. They document the role that the early Chicago School of sociology played in situating African Americans as a focal point for sociological investigation (Lyman 1972), critically assess the possibilities and pitfalls of the commitment of traditional sociology to the melting pot thesis as a vision for the prospects of African Americans (McKee 1993), and outline new perspectives on thinking about race and racism as properties of American society (Winant 2000). They also explore the effects of the early- to mid-20th-century migration of African Americans to the urban communities that became the geographic landscape that undergirded much of the sociological analysis of African Americans in the late 20th century (Tolnay 2003) and assess how immigration has affected the public identities attached to, and the experiences of, African Americans in the 20th century (Lieberson 1980). Alba and Nee 2005 explores the processes of post-1965 immigration to the United States by people of color.

  • Alba, Richard, and Victor Nee. 2005. Remaking the American mainstream: Assimilation and contemporary immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The authors explore the processes of post-1965 immigration to the United States by people of color. Among other objectives, they provide sociological tools to understand how and why, within a few generations of their arrival, members of certain groups were more or less identified with African Americans either racially or culturally.

    Find this resource:

    • Lieberson, Stanley. 1980. A piece of the pie: Blacks and white immigrants since 1880. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This work presents a comparative assessment of the historical socioeconomic status of African Americans and various immigrant groups since 1880, the period of Reconstruction. It depicts how and why African Americans and immigrant group members entered into, and became identified with, various occupational sectors. The work introduced comparative sociological studies of race and immigration.

      Find this resource:

      • Lyman, Stanford. 1972. The black American in sociological thought. New York: G.P. Putnam.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Lyman argues for the centrality of the Chicago School of sociology, and Robert Park in particular, in advancing research on African Americans in the discipline. He advances assimilationism as a valid paradigm for making sense of the African American experience.

        Find this resource:

        • McKee, James B. 1993. Sociology and the race problem: The failure of a perspective. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This work provides an overview of sociology’s exploration of the African American community. It critiques the strong melting pot thesis that overrode much of the assessment of the capacity of African Americans to endure in a rapidly industrializing American society.

          Find this resource:

          • Tolnay, Stewart E. 2003. The African American “Great Migration” and beyond. Annual Review of Sociology 29:209–232.

            DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            This review article documents the sociological literature that explores how African Americans experienced the Great Migration. It refers to literature that asserts how socioeconomic transformations associated with the modernization of industry drove African Americans to northern and midwestern urban areas while the sociopolitical oppression of the Jim Crow South drove them away from that region. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

            Find this resource:

            • Winant, Howard. 2000. Race and race theory. Annual Review of Sociology 26:169–185.

              DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.26.1.169Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This article provides a rich overview of the sociological theories and theses offered to interpret race in the United States. It begins with assessing the concept of race and then situates the theoretical and conceptual transformations occurring over time within the sociopolitical contexts that shaped them. Winant argues that future theorizing on race must be sensitive to historical transformations and racial politics. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

              Find this resource:

              Classic Works

              These works explore the social condition of the African American community from the turn of the 20th century to the immediate post–World War II period. The works explore the initial settlement of African Americans in urban communities at the start of the Great Migration (Du Bois 1996) and the social and cultural parameters of the southern, rural African American communities from which they ultimately migrated (Davis, et al. 1941; Dollard 1937; and Powdermaker 1939). During that period, pioneer sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois contributed a landmark thesis on race theory and race consciousness (Du Bois 2007). The classic period ends with the publication of a community study that offers a comprehensive examination of the African American urban community at the maturation of the Great Migration (Drake and Cayton 1993), a critical assessment of the cultural dynamics of the African American middle class (Frazier 1957), and a comprehensive investigation of African American family and community life in the mid-20th century, when racialized ghettoes and the resulting class-based tensions and social problems began to emerge (Myrdal 2006, Moynihan 1965).

              • Davis, Alison, Burleigh Brandford Gardner, and Mary R. Gardner. 1941. Deep South: A social anthropological study of caste and class. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This work is the product of a collaboration between a group of anthropologists in seeking to document the economic, racial, and cultural character of the Jim Crow South through the study of the people of Natchez, Mississippi. The analysis centered on how class and caste informed the daily lives of these residents.

                Find this resource:

                • Dollard, John. 1937. Caste and class in a southern town. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Somewhat of a parallel to Davis, et al. 1941, this work explores how race shaped the small town living of black and white Americans is a small southern city. Although the city in which the study was based is majority African American, the Jim Crow system of race relations relegates African Americans to extreme subordinate status.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Drake, St. Claire, and Horace Cayton. 1993. Black metropolis: A study of Negro life in a northern city. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    This study is based on a large volume of research conducted by fieldworkers of the Works Progress Administration in the late 1930s. It brings together an historical and sociological account of African Americans from the south side of Chicago. The authors focus on the social processes of migration, settlement, community structure, and race relations in order to frame, and provide an understanding of, the institutionalized black ghetto or the racialized residential space that contains virtually all of the economic, educational, cultural, and religious organizations necessary for community sustenance. It was first published in 1945.

                    Find this resource:

                    • Du Bois, W. E. B. 1996. The Philadelphia Negro: A social study. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Originally published in 1899. Commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania, this was the first multi-method (survey, ethnographic, demographic) study of an African American community. Du Bois went from house to house and conducted personal interviews with each individual head of the household. Du Bois combined his data with census data to analyze the social and economic conditions of African Americans in Philadelphia.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Du Bois, W. E. B. 2007. The souls of black folk. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        First published in 1903, this book established the tradition of race theory in sociology by positing the meaning that emancipation and efforts for racial uplift and social progress hold for African Americans. Here Du Bois poses his famous line, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

                        Find this resource:

                        • Frazier, E. Franklin. 1957. Black bourgeoisie. New York: Free Press.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          This is a highly recognized study of the social customs of African American elites who attempt to engage in social distancing from African Americans of lower socioeconomic status while mirroring the customs of white American elites.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Moynihan, Daniel Patrick. 1965. The Negro family: The case for national action. Washington, DC: Office of Political Planning and Research.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            This report argues that the absence of fathers, who provide a stable presence, constitutes the central reason for problems in African American families. Furthermore, it argues that the rise in single-mother families was largely due a destructive ghetto culture that emerged from slavery and persisted throughout the Jim Crow era. It also argues that without a nationally focused social intervention policy, the cycle of poverty and disadvantage will continue to repeat itself for these families.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Myrdal, Gunnar. 2006. An American dilemma: The Negro problem and modern democracy. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              This study of race relations and the social condition of African Americans in the middle of the 20th century was first published in 1944 and produced with the support of a research team of sociologists and social scientists, including many African Americans. It explores health, economic well-being, the role of the church, and other matters to make the claim that a national response is necessary for recognizing and improving race relations.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Powdermaker, Hortense. 1939. After freedom: A cultural study in the deep South. New York: Viking.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                This work presents a portrait of how African Americans built and managed families, acquired social capital, and created a community in a rigidly racially segregated social context. It is a pioneering ethnography in that it introduces class as an important factor in the lives of African Americans in the American South, yet it evaluates African American culture quite crudely along normative understandings of mainstream (re: white American) culture.

                                Find this resource:

                                Journals

                                Virtually every journal in sociology publishes material on the experiences of African Americans. The selection below includes journals that consistently publish on the African American experience or the ways that race, race relations, or racism affects the African American community. Race and Class focuses on the intersectionality of these two structural features of social life, while the Du Bois Review and Souls publishes investigations of the African American experience that are more interdisciplinary in nature. Ethnic and Racial Studies publishes articles that follow an explicitly sociological focus on racial matters, including but also moving beyond a focus on African Americans.

                                • Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. 2004–.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race is a scholarly, multidisciplinary, and multicultural journal devoted to social science research and criticism about race. Launched in the spring of 2004, the journal provides a forum for discussion and increased understanding of race and society from a range of disciplines, including, but not limited to, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, law, communications, public policy, psychology, linguistics, and history.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Ethnic and Racial Studies. 1978–.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Ethnic and Racial Studies is a peer-reviewed social science academic journal that publishes scholarly articles and book reviews on anthropology, cultural studies, ethnicity and race, and sociology.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    • Race and Class. 1959–.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Race and Class is a peer-reviewed, ISI-ranked publication, and it is the foremost English-language journal on racism and imperialism in the world today. For three decades it has established a reputation for the breadth of its analysis, its global outlook, and its multidisciplinary approach.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Souls. 1999–.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Souls is a quarterly interdisciplinary journal published by Taylor & Francis. The Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), founded by Dr. Manning Marable at Columbia University, launched Souls in January 1999. The journal is directed by IRAAS’s research unit, the Center for Contemporary Black History.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        Lower-Income Class Culture and Social Experience

                                        The works cited here consist largely of ethnographic portraits of the public life and behavior of lower-income African Americans. They emphasize the sociological significance of street corner behavior (Anderson 1978, Anderson 1990, Anderson 2000, Liebow 1967) and the cultural schemes of meaning making that such individuals devise to survive their life situations (Hannerz 1969, MacLeod 2009, Young 2004). Venkatesh 2000 explores how systems of social organization unfold in low-income African American communities in order for individuals to secure, or preserve, social resources.

                                        • Anderson, Elijah. 1978. A place on the corner. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          This is a study of street corner life at a liquor store in Chicago. It depicts the social stratification system constructed by men who live on the margins of socioeconomic opportunity. Sociological concepts, such as “the extended primary group” and “being down,” are introduced in this book.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Anderson, Elijah. 1990. Streetwise: Race, class and change in an urban community. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            The author depicts how residents of two communities—one racially mixed and economically privileged and the other largely African American and impoverished—negotiate the public spaces that connect them. The works emphasizes how the rules and practices of public interaction unfold in this setting.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Anderson, Elijah. 2000. Code of the street: Decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city. New York: W.W. Norton.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              This work articulates the interactive codes and norms of street corner interaction for African American residents of a low-income urban community. It explores how public space in the midst of economic constraint and social turbulence is managed, and how those who possess greater degrees of street wisdom and employ street etiquette have a greater potential for maneuvering public interaction in this environment.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Hannerz, U. 1969. Soulside: Inquiries into ghetto culture and community. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This study demonstrated that public interaction on a city block in a working-class community serves as a means not only to socialize, but also to share the meanings about social institutions affecting the lives of black Americans (such as the police and city government). The work also introduces an understanding of culture as a public property that can be engaged in by anyone (think of rap music, first introduced by African Americans and now produced by performers of various ethnic backgrounds) rather than a property of selected groups and subgroups.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Liebow, Elliot. 1967. Tally’s corner: A study of Negro streetcorner men. Boston: Little, Brown.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  This work offers a response to the culture of poverty thesis by arguing that the street corner behavior of low-income African Americans is a response to employment constraints and the resulting family and household pressures rather than a simple passing down of cultural practices from generation to generation. It presents such behaviors as a rational reaction to everyday constraints and conditions.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • MacLeod, Jay. 2009. Ain’t no making it: Leveled aspirations in a low-income neighborhood. 3d ed. Boulder, CO: Westview.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    This study assesses poverty, race, class, and fatalism as they surface for one group of black and one group of white males who reside in the same public housing development. The author explores aspirations, expectations, and the cultural logics that lead to different configurations for the members of each group.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Venkatesh, Sudhir Alladi. 2000. American project: The rise and fall of a modern ghetto. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      This book presents a political and economic analysis of the informal economy as a regulating mechanism of everyday life in a large-scale public housing development. Challenging the social problems logic that often undergirds analyses of urban gangs, the author portrays gangs as central participants in directing this informal economy and arbitrating the social relations of the tenants.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Young, Alford A., Jr. 2004. The minds of marginalized black men. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Young challenges the culture of pathology that is often tied to urban-based, low-income African American males by asserting that such men are complex meaning makers who develop interpretations of society and their places in it by drawing from personal experiences. He argues that access to sustained cross-racial and cross-class contacts provides insights into how they interpret racism and other forms of structural constraint as factors impinging upon their lives.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        Middle- and Upper-Class Culture and Social Experience

                                                        Much of the sociological research in this area addresses how middle-class and more privileged African Americans promote identities as morally worthy individuals as well as strive to maintain professional status amidst enduring racism and other constraints (Landry 1987, Lacy 2007, Collins 1997, Feagin and Sikes 1994).

                                                        • Collins, Sharon M. 1997. Black corporate executives: The making and breaking of a black middle class. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Collins reveals how African Americans entered into professional and managerial jobs in corporations during the 1960s and what they have encountered since then, which largely involves their being subjected to marginalized positions in private firms. It reveals how federal government policies led to the establishment of the contemporary African American middle class.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Feagin, Joe R., and Melvin P. Sikes. 1994. Living with racism: The black middle-class experience. Boston: Beacon.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            The authors present evidence drawn from interviews supporting continuing racism experienced by middle-class African Americans at work, in public places, in formal institutions, and in everyday encounters.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Lacy, Karyn R. 2007. Blue-chip black: Race, class, and status in the new black middle class. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This work explores how the expression of middle-class African American identity shifts according to the racial makeup of the residential communities in which African Americans live. It elucidates how black American identity is performative and how the content of those performances is affected by proximity to other blacks.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Landry, Bart. 1987. The new black middle class. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Landry provides a statistical portrait of the black American middle class, including salary measures, reports of encounters with discrimination, standards of living, and the effects of changing economic conditions.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                Community Studies

                                                                Following in the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Horace Cayton, and St. Claire Drake, sociologists have conducted studies of African American communities that highlight intraclass relations and collective efforts for social uplift. These studies emphasize the reciprocity evident in how low-income Africans Americans acquire and share resources for family well-being (Stack 1974), how African American class relations unfold within African American communities (Pattillo 1999, Pattillo 2007, Gregory 1998, Jackson 2001), and how, more recently, these communities have engaged the suburban sphere as a residential site (Wiese 2004).

                                                                • Gregory, Steven. 1998. Black corona: Race and the politics of place in an urban community. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  This study examines political culture and activism in an African American neighborhood in New York City by elucidating how working-class and middle-class African Americans construct and negotiate identities amid the dynamic interplay of race, class, and space. In the era of the underclass, it depicts an alternative image of the African American urban community.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Jackson, John L. 2001. Harlem world: Doing race and class in contemporary black America. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                    DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226390000.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    This book portrays Harlem, the symbolic capital of black America, as a culturally and economically diverse community where African Americans of various class groupings strive to demonstrate their legitimacy as representatives of African American culture. In doing so, they interpret and perform different class identities in their everyday behavior.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Pattillo, Mary. 1999. Black picket fences: Privilege and peril among the black middle class. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      This work examines an urban-based middle-class community that aims to advance itself while maintaining some social connection to lower-income communities and their residents. The author focuses on the neighborhood context to document how racial segregation, changing economic structures, and disproportionate black poverty affect the residential experience of these families.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Pattillo, Mary. 2007. Black on the block: The politics of race and class in the city. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                        DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226649337.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        This study explores the contestation between African American middle- and working-class residents of an urban community in Chicago. It articulates how cultural differences extend to differences in community outlook and politics.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Stack, Carol. 1974. All our kin: Strategies for survival in a black community. New York: Harper & Row.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This study showed that black American families in a small working-class town rely upon reciprocity and social networking to acquire resources that they cannot otherwise acquire in order to meet everyday needs. It demonstrates that agency and resilience are properties of low-income African American families.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Wiese, Andrew. 2004. Places of their own: African American suburbanization in the twentieth century. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                            DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226896267.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This work addresses the importance of the suburban living for African Americans in the late twentieth century. In the last two decades twelve million black Americans have committed to suburban life. In looking at this transition, the book explores how the civil rights movement led black families to purchase homes in the suburbs, and how civil rights legislation helped create a suburban-based black middle class.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            Education

                                                                            Studies of the educational experience of African Americans have emphasized the cultural dynamics concerning commitment to schooling and academic achievement. Such dynamics involve critical debates about oppositional theories that posit that African Americans reject mainstream institutions due to experiences with racism or other circumstances (Carter 2005; Fordham and Ogbu 1986; Harris 2011; Tyson, et al. 2005) or theories of identity management as relevant to achievement in schools (O’Connor 1999).

                                                                            • Carter, Prudence. 2005. Keepin’ it real: School success beyond black and white. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              This work explores the different cultural styles and practices that black American and other nonwhite students bring to the classroom. It introduces terms such as multicultural navigator to decipher how and why certain teens manage to achieve in school while others experience extreme cultural trauma in their efforts to successfully engage school. It adds a more complex explanation to the classic argument made in Fordham and Ogbu 1986 about the “acting white” thesis.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • Fordham, Signithia, and John Ogbu. 1986. Black students’ school success: Coping with the burden of “acting white.” Urban Review 18.3: 176–206.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1007/BF01112192Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                The authors situate their claim that the underachievement of African American students is tied to a cultural disconnect with schooling systems. Here they suggest that the response of these students derives from their historical status and experience in America. Through an ethnographic study of a high school in Washington, DC, they explain that the fear of being accused of “acting white” engenders a social and psychological response that hinders academic efforts by black students. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Harris, Angel L. 2011. Kids don’t want to fail: Oppositional culture and the black-white achievement gap. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674060999Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This work challenges the idea that black students underperform in secondary schools because they adopt a group culture that devalues learning and regards academic effort as “acting white.” It argues that black students value schooling more than their white counterparts do and that black children perform poorly not because they lack interest in succeeding but because they lack, and never sufficiently acquire, the skills needed for higher achievement.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • O’Connor, Carla. 1999. Race, class, and gender in America: Narratives of opportunity among low-income youths. Sociology of Education 72.3: 137–157.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2673226Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    This article explores how characteristics of class, gender, and racial identity are employed by African American youth in order to make sense of their mobility prospects and the ways they can use educational acquisition to advance themselves. The author affirms that African American youth do not maintain monolithic outlooks about the role of schooling in their lives. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Tyson, Karolyn, William Darity, and Domini Castellino. 2005. It’s not “a black thing”: Understanding the burden of acting white and other dilemmas of high achievement. American Sociological Review 70.4: 582–605.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/000312240507000403Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      In this article, based on a study of North Carolina public high schools, the authors argue that the acting white thesis is flawed in that many high achieving students, irrespective of race, are labeled pejoratively. Accordingly, assessments of particular school structures and class-specific cultures provide insights into how and why achieving students are identified in various ways and whether race ultimately plays a role in these identifications. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      Employment, Labor Markets, and Stratification

                                                                                      Literature dealing with these topics explores how socioeconomic differences between black and white Americans and within the African American community itself have come into being (Allen and Farley 1986, Bonacich 1976, Wilson 1978, Royster 2003). It also explores the extreme differences in the accumulation of wealth between black and white Americans and what this means for other quality of life circumstances (e.g., educational acquisition, general life satisfaction) (Oliver and Shapiro 1995, Conley 1999, Shapiro 2004), and it examines the differences and similarities in how African Americans and white Americans define the American Dream and the prospects for accessing it (Hochschild 1995). Finally, it considers the effect of contemporary patterns of incarceration on the social and economic prospects of African Americans (Wacquant 2003, Western 2006).

                                                                                      • Allen, Walter, and Reynolds Farley. 1986. The shifting social and economic tides of black America, 1950–1980. Annual Review of Sociology 12:277–306.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1146/annurev.so.12.080186.001425Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This article assesses research that depicts how labor market transformations and residential transitions have resulted in the concentration of black Americans in urban communities in which numerous job prospects in manufacturing sectors are unavailable. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Bonacich, Edna. 1976. Advanced capitalism and black/white relations in the United States: A split labor market interpretation. American Sociological Review 41:34–51.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/2094371Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Bonacich explores the complex relationships between African American workers and labor unions in the workplace in an advanced industrial society. She argues that New Deal federal government legislation provided the means for coalition-building between black Americans and unions, but that the increasing costs of labor and other factors rendered African Americans less employable by the latter third of the 20th century. This article provides sociohistorical evidence for how and why the urban underclass came into being. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Conley, Dalton. 1999. Being black, living in the red. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            This work emphasizes that economic, rather than racial, inequalities serve as the source of major contemporary life challenges for African Americans. Property ownership reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save and invest, and acquire further economic advantages.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Hochschild, Jennifer. 1995. Facing up to the American dream. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Hochschild presents an overview of survey research on how black and white Americans conceptualize the American dream and the mechanisms for achieving it. She carefully dissects what aspects of the American opportunity structure black Americans most believe in and the perception they hold about the role that racism plays in their lives and the lives of other black Americans, and how these differ according to the class location of African Americans.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Oliver, Melvin, and Thomas Shapiro. 1995. Black wealth, white wealth: A new perspective on racial inequality. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                This work provides an analysis of how assets are created, increased, and preserved such that stark differences in wealth accumulation exist between blacks and whites. It explores how and why many blacks have had difficulty accumulating wealth. It is based on data collected from more than 12,000 households and interviews with black and white families.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Royster, Deirdre. 2003. Race and the invisible hand: How white networks exclude black men from blue-collar jobs. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  This book examines twenty-five black and twenty-five white men who graduated from the same vocational school and sought jobs in the same blue-collar labor markets. It argues that access to job contacts, a resource that black men sorely lack, is pivotal when educational performance, job-training exposure, and work ethics were found to be closely aligned for these men.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Shapiro, Thomas M. 2004. The hidden cost of being African American: How wealth perpetuates inequality. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    This work argues that racial inequality persist due to differences in asset accumulation. Coupled with racial discrimination, such lack of assets leaves African American families in a subordinate position vis-à-vis many white American families. This work also documents the barriers that prevent the majority of black Americans from acquiring wealth, obstacles that are central to understanding why and how black American poverty and socioeconomic inequality endure.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Wacquant, Loïc. 2003. From slavery to mass incarceration: Rethinking the “race question” in the United States. New Left Review 13:40–61.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      This article explains how African Americans have been negatively affected by the various facets of capitalism as it has developed throughout American history. It explore how this population has been marginalized, first, as slaves, then as lower-tiered workers in an emerging industrial order, and, finally, as largely disconnected from the working world in the contemporary era of mature capitalism in America.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Western, Bruce. 2006. Punishment and inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        This book argues that rising rates of imprisonment among young black men without a college education have caused a rift in African American society, and that those with less education are increasingly separated from those with higher education. It reveals that serving time in prison reduces earnings, skews statistics on wages and employment, and destabilizes families.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Wilson, William Julius. 1978. The declining significance of race: Blacks and changing American institutions. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Here Wilson offers the controversial thesis that race was becoming less of a factor in comparison to class in determining the life chances of black Americans. In making this assertion the author documents how African American conceptions of opportunity have changed in the course of the 20th century.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          Family

                                                                                                          Works listed in this section address the socioeconomic and social challenges that African American families have faced due to economic hardship and fragility (Baca Zinn 1989, Brewer 1988, Furstenberg 2007, Rainwater 1970). Scholarly works that document the strategies employed within, and by, African American families to encourage socioeconomic advancement (Lareau 2003) are identified. Moore 2011 treats families based on new cultural forms stemming from sexual orientation.

                                                                                                          • Baca Zinn, Maxine. 1989. Family, race, and poverty in the eighties. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14.4: 856–874.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/494547Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This is a review article that assesses scholarship on black families in examining studies in sociology in the era of the underclass. It balances consideration of arguments about structural challenges facing low-income African American families with those that emphasize cultural contexts. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Brewer, Rose M. 1988. Black women in poverty: Some comments on female-headed families. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 13.2: 331–339.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/494409Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This article argues for a renewed emphasis on the political and economic struggles that shape family formation strategies for low-income African American women. It aims to draw attention away from cultural practices and premises of pathology as the sources of problems for such women. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Furstenberg, Frank. 2007. The making of the black family. Annual Review of Sociology 33:429–448.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.33.040406.131727Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                This article reviews the history of qualitative research on the African American family throughout the 20th century. It reveals that many qualitative studies on black family life focused on social class differences. However, in the latter part of the 20th century the research focused mostly on low-income black families. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • Lareau, Annette. 2003. Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  This work provides an ethnography of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families in order to make a case that middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of “concerted cultivation,” which highlights children’s talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely more on natural growth, whereby these children develop more spontaneously as long as basic needs are being met.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Moore, Mignon R. 2011. Invisible families: Gay identities, relationships and motherhood among black women. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    This book challenges sociological thinking about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood by focusing upon the family-based experiences, attitudes, and perspectives of African American lesbians. It explores how race and class have influenced these women’s understanding of their sexual orientation and approaches to family life.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Rainwater, Lee. 1970. Behind ghetto walls. Chicago: Aldine.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      This book is about the lives of children and adults who live in a public housing project in St. Louis. It focuses on the private lives of these residents, providing images of how families cope with threats and instabilities, and how interpersonal relationships and socialization processes unfold for people living in concentrated urban blight.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      Men and Masculinity

                                                                                                                      While still in its infancy relative to other sociological subfields involving the study of African Americans, research on black men and masculinity has taken up issues such as how working-class men maintain and demonstrate respectability in public venues (Duneier 1994) and in their private thoughts (Lamont 2000), how more traditional theories of gender can be brought to bear on the experiences of black men (Byrd and Guy-Sheftall 2001), and how such men derive meaning in the social world that they occupy and how they determine what is desirable and feasible in it (Young 2004, cited under Lower-Income Class Culture and Social Experience).

                                                                                                                      • Byrd, Rudolph P., and Beverly Guy-Sheftall, eds. 2001. Traps: African American men on gender and sexuality. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        This is a collection of writings by 19th-century and 20th-century African American men on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. It reveals the degree to which certain African American male leaders and intellectuals were committed to feminism and various African American female leaders and intellectuals were critical of social, economic, and political oppression of black women. Debates about black sexuality and the importance of rejecting homophobia are also included.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Duneier, Mitchell. 1994. Slim’s table: Race, respectability, and masculinity. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          This work focuses on the views and attitudes of black and white regulars at Valois Cafeteria, a restaurant on the fringes of Chicago’s South Side, a low-income African American ghetto. Among other points, the author emphasizes how black men promote respectability in their interactions at the cafeteria and in other places. The work challenges the so-called outer-directed, attention-seeking black male stereotype often portrayed in sociology.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Lamont, Michèle. 2000. The dignity of working men: Morality and the boundaries of race, class and immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            This work examines the views and opinions of working-class white and black men on identity and self-worth and on morality in society. Lamont argues that moral standards function as an alternative to economic definitions of success and this offers these men ways to maintain dignity. These standards also allow them to draw class boundaries between themselves, the poor, and those who are more economically privileged.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            Social Protest and Activism

                                                                                                                            Racial politics and activism has constituted a long-standing element in the sociological canon of research on African Americans. Much of this work has focused on the civil rights movement, especially why and how it came into being (McAdam 1982, Morris 1984, Skrentny 1996). More recent work has explored policy developments affecting African Americans, especially affirmative action policies (Harper and Reskin 2005, Chen 2009).

                                                                                                                            • Chen, Anthony. 2009. The fifth freedom: Jobs, politics, and civil rights in the United States, 1941–1972. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              This work argues that legislation to promote fair employment practices enacted between the 1940s and the 1970s constitute a crucial means for understanding how affirmative action policies were conceptualized and developed. It makes a case that interracial blocs of liberals and business-friendly, small-government conservatives collided in their views of what the government should undertake with regard to fair employment, and the unintended outcome was affirmative action.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Harper, Shannon, and Barbara Reskin. 2005. Affirmative action at school and on the job. Annual Review of Sociology 31:357–379.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.31.041304.122155Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                This article reviews the sociological, economic, historical, and legal scholarship on affirmative action. It explores how group-based remedies emerged, how protected groups are defined, and how proportional representation as a standard for inclusion was debated and (to a partial extent, at least) implemented. It also explores the efforts of employers and educators to include minorities and women despite waning public support for affirmative action. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • McAdam, Doug. 1982. Political process and the development of black insurgency, 1930–1970. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  McAdam presents a political-process model that explains the rise and decline of African American social protest activity throughout the mid- to late 20th century. He explicates the role of social institutions in protest activity (the African American church, historically black colleges and universities, and southern-based chapters of the NAACP) and how they facilitated political opportunities and increases in political efficacy.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Morris, Aldon. 1984. Origins of the civil rights movement: Black communities organizing for change. New York: Free Press.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This work explores how the African American church served as a formal institutional and social space for cultivating the activities that eventually constituted much of the early civil rights movement. It reveals how structural contexts shape capacities for social action, especially if social actors can maintain control of, or influence, the institutions that make up that structural context (which is the case for African Americans and the black church).

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Skrentny, Jonathan David. 1996. The ironies of affirmative action. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      This work offers an historical account of the development of affirmative action. In drawing from historical documents and court rulings, Skrentny analyzes how affirmative action was largely created by white males and initially championed during the Nixon administration and how various civil rights leaders initially avoided advocating for racial preferences.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      Urban Poverty

                                                                                                                                      Research in this area explores the cultural and structural factors that shape the despair and turbulence often found in the urban sphere of African American life (Massey and Denton 1993, Wilson 1987). Prominent among these structures are residential segregations (Charles 2003). It also explores how the changing economic arrangements in urban America (moving from manufacturing to a service sector economy) have impacted the employment and quality of life status of African Americans (Sugrue 1996, Wilson 1996, Williams and Collins 1995, Wilson and Wacquant 1989, and Wacquant 2003 [cited under Employment, Labor Markets, and Stratification]).

                                                                                                                                      • Charles, Camille Zubrinsky. 2003. The dynamics of racial residential segregation. Annual Review of Sociology 29:167–207.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        This article provides a review of the literature that addresses how blocked employment opportunities, limited access to social networks, social stigmas, and other negative ramifications faced by black Americans are the consequences of living in segregated residential communities. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Massey, Douglas, and Nancy Denton. 1993. American apartheid. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          This book explicates the relationship of racial residential segregation to poverty in African American urban communities. In introducing concepts such as hyper-segregation, the authors make the case that racial dynamics play as crucial role, if not more so, as economic transformations and cultural factors in shaping both the creation and the persistence of conditions of urban poverty faced by many African Americans.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Sugrue, Thomas J. 1996. The origins of the urban crisis: Race and inequality in postwar Detroit. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            The author explains how Detroit’s transformation from an urban industrial powerhouse to a site of urban squalor is tied to changes in the urban economy and to pervasive racial and class segregation. He challenges the conventional wisdom that urban decline was caused by large-scale investment in government-sponsored social programs and, instead, cites racial hostility, economic decline, and racial segregation as the causal factors.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Williams, David, and Chequita Collins. 1995. US socioeconomic and racial differences in health: Patterns and explanations. Annual Review of Sociology 21.1: 349–386.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1146/annurev.so.21.080195.002025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This article reviews studies addressing the relationship of socioeconomic status to racial differences in health. Among other findings, the authors argue that recent literature has indicated an increasing gap in health between blacks and whites, which derives, in part, from the worsening health status of African Americans. They also explore the literature in revealing how major social structures and processes such as racism, acculturation, work, migration, and childhood poverty produce inequalities in health. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The truly disadvantaged: The inner city, the underclass, and public policy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Wilson provides evidence largely based on research in Chicago to illustrate how urban poverty in the post–civil rights era has not resulted from an internalized culture of poverty but from extreme shifts in the urban economic system (the departure of jobs in manufacturing and a decentralized service sector). He introduces the concept of the underclass to define the segment of the modern urban community that is most socioeconomically marginalized.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Wilson, William Julius. 1996. When work disappears: The world of the new urban poor. New York: Knopf.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  This work advances upon the themes addressed by the author in his earlier works, especially Wilson 1987, to explain the state of racialized poverty in urban communities. Unlike the earlier work this one includes interview data that provides insights into how low-income African Americans explain the relevance of race and racism in their lives.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Wilson, William Julius, and Loïc Wacquant. 1989. The cost of racial and class exclusion in the inner city. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 501:8–25.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1177/0002716289501001001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    This article provides an overview of the structural factors that resulted in the socioeconomic marginalization of urban, largely African American communities. It documents the role of labor market transformation, the social concentration of poverty, and the social isolation of the urban poor from other sectors in the urban sphere such that the inner city has acquired the imagery of a site of despair for its inhabitants. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    Women and Feminism

                                                                                                                                                    Sociological scholarship on African American women and feminism has focused on the reconstitution of feminist theory in light of the experiences of African American women (Brewer 1989, Collins 1998, Collins 2000, King 1988). It has focused also on the unique experiences of African American women and girls in enduring poverty and racism (Kaplan 1997, Ladner 1995) and in contributing to the civil rights movement (Barnett 1996). The sociological study of labor markets (Browne and Misra 2003) constitutes one area of sociology that remains underdeveloped.

                                                                                                                                                    • Barnett, Bernice McNair. 1996. Invisible southern black women leaders in the civil rights movement: The triple constraints of gender, race, and class. In Race, class, and gender: Common bonds, different voices. Edited by Esther Ngang-ling Chow, Doris Wilkinson, and Maxine Baca Zinn. 265–287. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      This article highlights the often silent role that black women played in creating and leading social organizations that were essential for launching the civil rights movement. It suggests that the amalgamation of race, gender, and class-based discrimination render public images and understandings of the central role played by these women as less visible, if not invisible.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Brewer, Rose M. 1989. Black women and feminist sociology: The emerging perspective. American Sociologist 20.1: 57–70.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1007/BF02697787Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        This article embeds the ideas contributed by African American feminists in the larger feminist sociological tradition. It argues for a “fourth critique” of sociology (the first three being offered by interpretive sociologists, black nationalists, and feminist scholars) made by black feminist sociologists who focus on a balanced approach in which race, class, and gender intersect. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Browne, Irene, and Joya Misra. 2003. The intersection of gender and race in the labor market. Annual Review of Sociology 29:487–513.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.29.010202.100016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          This article provides an overview of the literature that documents how the decline in employment in the manufacturing sector facilitated the declining employment status of African American men while allowing African American women to achieve more security through employment in the lower-tier service sector. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Collins, Patricia Hill. 1998. Fighting words: Black women and the search for justice. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This work expands on the notion of the “outsider within” as a structural context for exploring the situation of African American women in professional and public sectors. It also explores the politics of scholarship in assessing why certain products are considered contributions to formal theory while others are taken to be contributions to public thought.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Collins, Patricia Hill. 2000. Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              This is a classic account of sociological approaches to standpoint theory that also provides a critical assessment of the work of Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, and other prominent black feminist scholars. It constitutes the first synthetic overview of black feminist thought. This book was first published in 1990.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Kaplan, Elaine Bell. 1997. Not our kind of girl: Unraveling the myths of black teenage motherhood. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This book dispels traditional perceptions of teenaged African American mothers, including the presumed support for teenage pregnancy and their desire to rely upon public assistance for family support. It explores the unique challenges they face in dealing with schooling and employment.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                • King, Deborah K. 1988. Multiple jeopardy, multiple consciousness: The context of a black feminist ideology. Signs: Journal of Women in Literature and Society 14.1: 42–72.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1086/494491Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This article offers an assessment of the mutually reinforcing discriminations of racism, sexism, and classism that bear upon African American women. It conveys how different patterns of social consciousness emerge for women depending upon their sense of their class status and access to societal resources for addressing discrimination. It posits that no single consciousness (nor standpoint) for African American women exists but rather multiple ones. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Ladner, Joyce A. 1995. Tomorrow’s tomorrow: The black woman. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Tomorrow’s Tomorrow is a pioneering sociological study of African American girls who were reared in public housing in a socioeconomically disadvantaged urban community (the very same one that is the basis for Rainwater 1970 (cited under Family). It rejects the presumably white, middle-class perspective of “deviant” behavior in order to deliver a vision of how and why these girls develop their expectations and aspirations around marriage, pregnancy, child-rearing, and social relationships. Originally published in 1971.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    back to top

                                                                                                                                                                    Article

                                                                                                                                                                    Up

                                                                                                                                                                    Down