The Social World of Female-Headed Black Families: A Study of Quality of Life in a Marginalized Neighborhood1 PROSHANTA K. NANDI* and HUGH HARRIS* ABSTRACT This paper explores the social world of female-headed black families residing in a marginalized neighborhood in a mid-western state capital in the United States. The social world is construed to consist of respondents' perceptions of both subjective and inter-subjective dimensions of quality of life as well as their fears, hopes and aspirations. An instrument to elicit these perceptions was administered to a sample of one hundred females in face-to-face interviews. The research findings reveal a harsh neighborhood marked by violence, crime and drug-trafficking initiated largely by forces from outside. Despite these constraints, the residents recount the many gratifying moments and relationships of their lives and extol self-reliance as a means to improving the quality of their lives. The research brings out a convergence of values, aspirations and concerns on a number of facets of life between these families and mainstream America. Introduction One of the distinct characteristics of the demographic landscape in America in recent decades has been the growing phenomenon of female-headed, single-parent, black family households which constituted 28% of all black family
International Journal of Comparative Sociology (in 2002 continued as Comparative Sociology) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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