Ethnography Ethnographic Research Journal Article Review: Men Article Critique

Pages: 4 (1216 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Black Studies


Ethnographic Research Journal Article Review:

"Men Do Matter: Ethnographic Insights on the Socially Supportive Role of the African-American Uncle in the Lives of Inner-City African-American Male Youth"

There has been a great deal of scholarly research regarding the importance of the father and his role particularly with African-American male children. However, very little scholarly research has been done regarding the importance of the role of the Uncle in single female-headed households and the role they play in the lives of African-American male youth. Black male youth are frequently portrayed as a homogeneous, monolithic group who lack positive relationships with their biological fathers. The relationship absence has been frequently correlated to many social problems experienced by Black male youth; particularly violent and delinquent behavior.

There has been a significant body of scholarly literature that speaks to the role of the African-American grandmother as a 'heroic' figure in inner city poor families, who in a number of instances, serves as the primary caregiver and surrogate to the grandchildren (Pearson, et al., 1990).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Article Critique on Ethnography Ethnographic Research Journal Article Review: Men Assignment

Extensive research and data on the inner city African-American family posits that the collective of women are often left with the responsibility of raising male youth alone, because the biological fathers are absent. However the role of extended familial networks as surrogate fathers and primary caregivers to single family households continues to be lacking. Data from a recent qualitative research study on the social capital in the lives of at risk Black make youth shows that many single female headed households frequently rely on their brother-in-law, biological brothers and older male extended family members to serve as father figures in the absence of biological fathers to their adolescent boys (Richardson, 2009). This article examined the role of the non-biological fathers, particularly African-American uncle as a critical and oft overlooked source of social capital and social support in the lives of African-American male youth Jarrett, Roy, & Burton, 2002).

A great deal of the earlier work completed with regard to social capital (Coleman, 1990) has provided analysis on the benefit of children by evaluating the presence or absence of two parents within the family. Single female-headed households were seen as socially deficient models of social capital, unable to prevent negative social capital. According to Robinson, the issue of social capital production within poor Black families is a question answered by assumption rather than examination, although some work has begun in that area (Furstenberg, 2001).

The work on the role of African-American men within fictive kinship and extended familial networks as surrogate fathers has barely scratched the surface. Moreover, what happens within African-American families to generate lesser or greater amounts of social capital for children is yet unclear (Taylor, et al., 1990). With increased conversation and discourse on social capital in African-American families and communities, fatherhood and the influence on youth, especially regarding issues of juvenile delinquency, serious violent crimes, and educational success must move past the myopic and traditional defined role of biological parent or stepparent (Salem, Zimmerman, & Notaro, 1998). According to Richardson, fatherhood should be defined by its function and not by the list of "usual suspects who have been traditionally defined as fathers (p. 1047).

The Research

A longitudinal ethnographic research study that examined the social context of 15 early adolescent African-American males was completed. The research methodology used in the study involved in depth life history interviews and ethnographic participant observations with the young men and their single mothers over a period of 4 years. Some of the young men involved in the study were members of local area gangs. Qualitative research was chosen as a means of highlighting the contextual nature of social… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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