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Ensuring InequalityThe Structural Transformation of the African-American Family, Revised Edition$
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Donna L. Franklin and Angela D. James

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780199374878

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199374878.001.0001

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Family Composition and the “Underclass” Debate

Family Composition and the “Underclass” Debate

Chapter:
(p.132) Chapter Eight Family Composition and the “Underclass” Debate
Source:
Ensuring Inequality
Author(s):

Donna L. Franklin

Angela D. James

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199374878.003.0009

Chapter 8 details the retreat from the civil right movement era of political and social advances for African Americans and highlights the demographic indicators of the intensification of poverty among mother-only families in urban ghettos. Further, this chapter highlights the ongoing rhetorical assaults on black family, as well as specific government assaults on black women’s reproductive liberty. In this way, ideology is linked to the political response to concentrated poverty marked by race, class, and family differences. Specifically, Chapter 8 narrates the manner in which the discourse of “black pathology” and family deviance frames punitive public policies around welfare, as well as violations of black women’s reproductive autonomy.

Keywords:   family, race, racial representation, underclass, urban poverty, welfare

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