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Living Poor: Family Life among Single Parent, African-American Women

Robin L. Jarrett
Social Problems
Vol. 41, No. 1, Special Issue on Immigration, Race, and Ethnicity in America (Feb., 1994), pp. 30-49
DOI: 10.2307/3096840
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3096840
Page Count: 20
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Living Poor: Family Life among Single Parent, African-American Women
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Abstract

This article uses qualitative interviews from a sample of never-married African-American mothers to describe the ways that poor women dynamically adapt to economic marginality. The empirical data serve to expand on structural explanations that correctly demonstrate the link between economic factors and family patterns among the poor, but ignore non-nuclear family arrangements and omit personal agency in understanding poverty. Findings from the study highlight the viability of alternative family patterns and the active roles that women play in mediating the effects of poverty. They also suggest direction for a broader research agenda.

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