Manual Single Mother: The Emergence of the Domestic Intellectual

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Sharing links are not available for this article. I have read and accept the terms and conditions. Copy to clipboard. Request Permissions View permissions information for this article. Brush Lisa D. Article information. Article Information Volume: 22 issue: 1, page s : Article first published online: February 1, ; Issue published: February 1, Lisa D.

Brush University of Pittsburgh. First Page. Sign Out. Email required Password required Remember me Forgotten your password? Need to activate? Institutional Access does not have access to this content. By autumn, when a White House conference on civil rights took place, the Moynihan report, initially planned as its centerpiece, had been disappeared.

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W ell, not exactly. Over the next 15 years, the black family question actually became a growth industry inside academe, the foundations, and the government. Think instead about the 75 percent of black middle-class families—though Moynihan had made a special point of exempting them from his report. Other black pride—inspired scholars looked at female-headed families and declared them authentically African and therefore a good thing. In a related vein, Carol Stack published All Our Kin , a HEW-funded study of families in a midwestern ghetto with many multigenerational female households.

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In fact, some scholars continued, maybe the nuclear family was really just a toxic white hang-up, anyway. No one asked what nuclear families did, or how they prepared children for a modern economy. The important point was simply that they were not black. The lucky black single mother could also enjoy more equal relationships with men than her miserably married white sisters.

I'm a single parent and a scientist and I'm dangerously stressed

If black pride made it hard to grapple with the increasingly separate and unequal family, feminism made it impossible. Fretting about single-parent families was now not only racist but also sexist, an effort to deny women their independence, their sexuality, or both. As for the poverty of single mothers, that was simply more proof of patriarchal oppression. W ith the benefit of embarrassed hindsight, academics today sometimes try to wave away these notions as the justifiably angry, but ultimately harmless, speculations of political and academic activists.

This is pure revisionism.

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The radical delegitimation of the family was so pervasive that even people at the center of power joined in. It made no difference that so many of these cheerleaders for single mothers had themselves spent their lives in traditional families and probably would rather have cut off an arm than seen their own unmarried daughters pushing strollers.

City of East Cleveland decision. Brennan did not simply agree that the court should rule in favor of the grandmother—a perfectly reasonable position. In its bumbling way and with far-reaching political consequences, the executive branch also offered warm greetings to the single-parent family. Alert to growing apprehension about the state of the American family during his presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter had promised a conference on the subject.

Clearly less concerned with conditions in the ghetto than with satisfying feminist advocates, the administration named a black single divorced mother to lead the event, occasioning an outcry from conservatives. By , when it finally convened after numerous postponements, the White House Conference on the Family had morphed into the White House Conference on Families, to signal that all family forms were equal. Instead of the political victory for moderate Democrats that Carter had expected, the conference galvanized religious conservatives.

Later, conservative heavyweight Paul Weyrich observed that the Carter conference marked the moment when religious activists moved in force into Republican politics. Doubtless they were also more energized by their own issues of feminism and gay rights than by what was happening in the ghetto.

Father-Absent Homes: Implications for Criminal Justice and Mental Health Professionals

M eanwhile, the partisans of single motherhood got a perfect chance to test their theories, since the urban ghettos were fast turning into nuclear-family-free zones. In the ghetto, that number was considerably higher, as high as 66 percent in New York City. Many experts comforted themselves by pointing out that white mothers were also beginning to forgo marriage, but the truth was that only 9 percent of white births occurred out of wedlock.

And how was the black single-parent family doing? It would be fair to say that it had not been exhibiting the strengths of kinship networks. According to numbers crunched by Moynihan and economist Paul Offner, of the black children born between and , 72 percent received Aid to Families with Dependent Children before the age of School dropout rates, delinquency, and crime, among the other dysfunctions that Moynihan had warned about, were rising in the cities.

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  • In short, the 15 years since the report was written had witnessed both the birth of millions of fatherless babies and the entrenchment of an underclass. Liberal advocates had two main ways of dodging the subject of family collapse while still addressing its increasingly alarming fallout. Advocates like Edelman might not have viewed the collapsing ghetto family as a welcome occurrence, but they treated it as a kind of natural event, like drought, beyond human control and judgment.

    circparbamen.tk The Carnegie Corporation followed suit. T he second way not to talk about what was happening to the ghetto family was to talk instead about teen pregnancy. In response to its alarms, HEW chief Joseph Califano helped push through the Adolescent Health Services and Pregnancy Prevention and Care Act, which funded groups providing services to pregnant adolescents and teen moms. Nonprofits, including the Center for Population Options now called Advocates for Youth , climbed on the bandwagon.

    Grant Foundations all started demonstration programs. There was just one small problem: there was no epidemic of teen pregnancy.

    There was an out-of-wedlock teen-pregnancy epidemic. Teenagers had gotten pregnant at even higher rates in the past. Back in the day, however, when they found out they were pregnant, girls had either gotten married or given their babies up for adoption. Not this generation.

    They were used to seeing children growing up without fathers, and they felt no shame about arriving at the maternity ward with no rings on their fingers, even at Finally, critiquing the relentless emphasis on self-sufficiency to the exclusion of community, Juffer shows the remarkable organizing skills of these new mothers of invention.

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    • Some women choose to become single mothers; circumstances choose it for others. Either way, raising a child alone is a difficult task involving tremendous external and internal pressures, and it Ausgeblendete Felder. Meine Mediathek Hilfe Erweiterte Buchsuche.