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DIVERSITY AND MEANING IN THE STUDY OF BLACK FATHERHOOD: Toward a New Paradigm

  • Maria S. Johnson (a1) and Alford A. Young (a2)

Abstract

For the past several decades, numerous studies have focused on the so-called “crisis of Black fatherhood”—that is, the many ways in which Black fathers struggle to fulfill traditional paternal roles and duties. Given major shifts in both the structural conditions and cultural expectations of fatherhood in general over the past century, we argue that it is necessary to reestablish not only what Black fatherhood looks like today—in particular, the internal diversity and dynamism of this category—but also how Black men (as well as other members of Black families and communities) make sense of these changes and meaningfully negotiate their implications. We outline a two-pronged research agenda that: first, identifies gaps in the existing literature that limit our knowledge of the full range of Black fathering practices and experiences; and second, reclaims and repurposes “cultural analysis,” not to pathologize “what’s wrong with Black families and fathers,” but to shed much needed light on the ways in which Black fathers themselves process and make meaning of their roles and realities.

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Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Maria S. Johnson, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware, 311 Smith Hall, Newark, DE 19711. E-mail: johnmar@udel.edu

References

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DIVERSITY AND MEANING IN THE STUDY OF BLACK FATHERHOOD: Toward a New Paradigm

  • Maria S. Johnson (a1) and Alford A. Young (a2)

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