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Title: Papa May Have: An Intimate Examination of Fatherhood in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Authors: Abdill, Aasha M.
Advisors: Duneier, Mitchell
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: black family
black fathers
innercity fatherhood
maternal gatekeeping
Subjects: Sociology
African American studies
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Recent academic attention to fatherhood emphasizes the concept of "new fathering," a modification in the fathering identity which includes a focus on nurturing and emotional attachment to the child. This study present the landscape of what fathering looks like and feels like in a longtime low-income black community as ideologies of masculinity, fatherhood and family are rapidly changing. In addition to the social and structural disadvantages which often operate in low-income urban communities and disproportionately affect black men, such as high rates of unemployment and incarceration, local interactions are influencing the behaviors of fathers with their children. Based on findings and insights from four years of fieldwork in an urban neighborhood, this dissertation details the day to day obstacles and strategies of black men with children as they try to reconcile contradictions in beliefs about what makes a good father, what makes one a man, and how aspects of each should be displayed. In the streets and playgrounds of present day Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, men push strollers. Men wear little pink carriers with babies bundled in them over their hoodies and basketball shorts. As documented by classic and contemporary ethnographies, men continue to hang out in front of public housing buildings and corner stores, but now tugging at one of their legs one can often find a toddler. Black men's fathering behaviors are occurring more within the sight of the public's eye influenced, in part, by changing social norms of gender roles in the family. Shifting mainstream norms of fathering and family forms are influencing the beliefs and behaviors of fathers residing in low-income communities. Many men of urban communities are uncovering potential benefits of loosening translations of fatherhood. Nonetheless, their behaviors and involvement are vulnerable to what is verbally and non-verbally communicated by family, peers, community members, local organizations and the public media. Organizations, including Head Start and schools, may be able to take advantage of burgeoning roles of fatherhood in the inner city. A deeper understanding of black men in their pursuits to be family men may be a key to supporting their engagement with their children and enhancing their involvement over the long-term.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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