Outline Please make a big rectangle with the tables Fundraising and Trip Discussion Track Spring Carnival, 4/10 from 1 to 3:30? Changing Family Structure Wilson’s Research The Fading Inner City Family Edin and Kefalas Research Promises I Can Keep Fundraising and a Trip to Campus For each task you volunteer for and complete, I’ll give ¼ point on your assignment grade Fundraising new information or loose ends Change jars; Track; Lacrosse, other? Trip to Campus Spring Carnival 1. Describe your feelings about your community activity. Is it what you expected? Is it worthwhile? Why or why not? 2. Please describe the most fulfilling thing that you have experienced while with the afterschool program. 3. Please describe the most challenging thing that you have experienced while with the afterschool program. 4. Are there things that you have learned from the children or others that you work with at Chester Eastside Ministries? If so, what? 5. What have you learned about yourself from this experience? Have you learned any new skills or developed a new interest? Has the experience challenged or made you question any ideas that you previously held? 6. Has your community activity helped you learn something new about poverty in America? Has it raised any new questions in your mind? Moving Forward My plan is to spend time talking about public policy and anti-poverty programs; and poor people’s movements (or the lack there of)… Are there are their other things you’re interested in learning about? Questions you have? Things you’d like to explore? Changing Family Structure… 1. Both the Wilson chapter and the Edin/Kefalas handout suggest that the changing family structure in urban areas is reflective of the changing family structure society at large. Briefly describe the way family structure in the United States has changed. Be sure to cite one of the texts as evidence in your answer. Family Structure By Race Growth in Single Parent Households by Race, 1970-1995 Actually more growth in White population (more than tripled)… But a higher percentage of Black families are now single parent 60% of births in Philly now occur outside of marriage (Edin and Kafilia: 2005:33) More American Children in Single Parent Households “In 1993, 27 percent of all children under the age of 18 were living with a single parent. This figure includes 57 percent of all black children, 32 percent of all Hispanic children, and 21 percent of all White children” (Wilson 1996: 87) What explains this nationwide trend? Not just a trend with the poor… Ever here this saying… Why? “Culture-wide redefinition of marriage…”(K&E 2005:201) “The commitment to traditional husband wife families and the stigma associated with out of wedlock births, separation, and divorce have waned significantly in the United States” (Wilson 1996: 105) Less emphasis now placed on marriage and idea that male led family is standard of success “…having sex, establishing a common household, and having children have all been decoupled from marriage” (K&E 2005: 200) Important to note that change in attitudes are shared by poor and affluent alike Impact of Family Structure 2. In Chapter 4, Wilson briefly reviews the research regarding children in mother only households. What are some of the research findings he reviews? Impact of Single Parent Households Wilson (1996:.92) Children in single parent households are more likely to: Drop out of school…Jencks asks…but would this happen anyway? Receive lower earnings in adulthood…Jencks ask…but would their earnings be low anyway? Receive welfare…Jencks asks…but would they be on welfare otherwise? Be adequately supervised “Single parent households tend to exert less control over the behavior of adolescents.” (Wilson, p.92) To be poor…see next slide…and again note that Jencks asks would this happen anyway… More likely to be poor, Iceland p.42 Declining Marriage Rates Among Urban Poor Wilson’s prior work emphasizes the lack of “marriageable men” Jobless ghettos emerge for reasons that we have discussed Young men without employment are not good potential partners “…strong relationship between the annual earnings of young black men (18-29) and their marital status” (Wilson 1996: 95) Anyone remember the relationship??? Married Black Men Age 18-29, 1987 (Numbers in thousands) Why the decline…? Longitudinal studies suggest these earnings and employment status account for small proportion of the overall decline among African Americans overall Decline almost as large among working men as non-working men But Wilson presents research that suggests the lack jobs and earnings is a strong cause of single parent households in the high poverty inner city neighborhoods that we have been considering In the Chicago neighborhoods he studies, men 18 to 31 were 8 times more likely to marry if they were employed Joblessness and Norms 4. According to Wilson, what has happened to the norms regulating marriage in the inner city ghetto? What does he think has caused this? Norms… Normative constraints on pre-marital sex, out of wed-lock pregnancy and non-marital parenthood have weakened “In the inner city ghetto community, not only have the norms in support of husband-wife families and against out-ofwedlock births become weaker as a result of the general trend in society, they have also gradually disintegrated because of the worsening economic conditions in the inner city, including the sharp rise in joblessness and delcining real incomes.” (Wilson, p.97) Weakening Norms… “The ethnographic data reveal that both inner-city black males and females believe that since most marriages will eventually break up and since marriage non longer represent meaningful relationships, it is better to avoid the entanglements of wedlock altogether” (Wilson 1996: 104). “For many single mothers in the inner city, non-marriage makes more sense than does marriage. Single mothers who perceive the fathers of their children as unreliable or as having limited financial means will often – rationally – choose single parenthood” (Wilson 1996: 104) Changing Family Structure Wilson concludes: African Americans in the inner city feel little pressure to commit to marriage “They have little reason to contemplate seriously the consequences of single parenthood because their prospects for social and economic mobility are severely limited whether they are married or not” (Wilson 1996: 105) Logic of Wilson’s Argument Development of jobless ghettoes Fewer Employment Prospects Weakens foundation for stable relationships Why commit to someone who is not financially viable? More out of wedlock births, more separation, divorce Norms that pressure people to marry weaken More single parent homes Inadequate social control and socialization of youth Youth are not socialized/prepared for labor market Little human capital and destructive culture Children not exposed to the habits and routines of work More likely to remain among the joblessnessSTART AGAIN For Wilson: “…cultural arrangements reflect structural realities” (Wilson 1996: 106). What do you think??? Promises I Can Keep New Book by Kathryn Edin (University of Pennsylvania) and Maria Kefalas (St. Josephs) Work is getting a lot of attention… Based on 162 interviews with women in Philly and Camden designed to shed light on “why poor women put motherhood before marriage.” Views on Pregnancy 5. Edin and Kefalas suggest that inner city women view pregnancy as a “chance to grasp a better future.” Explain what they mean by this, being sure to cite the text in your answer. Grasping a Better Future Children as a gift, not a liability Bring a new sense of hope Motherhood viewed as most important social role, so out-ofwedlock pregnancy not viewed negatively In fact, quite the opposite “viewed as a mark of self worth” p.43 “Whereas outsiders generally view childrearing in such circumstances as irresponsible and self destructive, within the social milieu of these down and out neighborhoods the norms work in reverse, and the choice to have a child despite the obstacles that lie ahead is a compelling demonstration of a young women’s maturity and high moral stature” (E &K 2005: 48). Different Views of Pregnancy 6. Compare and contrast the attitudes of middle class youth and inner city poor youth towards starting a family at a young age. Be sure to cite text in your answer. Different Views…Different Choices Poor actually ascribe “higher value to children than members of the middle class.” 1986: It is better to have a child rather than go through life childless Poor nearly twice as likely to agree 2001: Poorly educated women more likely than highly educated to agree that motherhood is one of life’s most fulfilling roles Poor view childlessness as “one of the greatest tragedies of life”(K&E 2005: 204) Female HS dropouts 5 times more likely than Female College Grads to think “childless people leave empty lives.” Fewer MC women think lives would be empty without kids Putting having kids (a la Murphy Brown) as selfish and unnatural Why the difference??? Why? “We believe the high social value the poor give to children has two sources: fewer forgone opportunities and stronger absolute preferences” (K&E 2005: 205) Forgone opportunities (7) Please explain how the opportunity costs of having a child early in life differ for poor women and middle class women. Be sure to cite the text in your answer. Opportunity cost The true cost of something is what you give up to get it. This includes not only the money spent in buying (or doing) the something, but also the economic benefits that you did without because you bought (or did) that particular something and thus can no longer buy (or do) something else. For example, the opportunity cost of choosing to train as a lawyer is not merely the tuition fees, PRICE of books, and so on, but also the fact that you are no longer able to spend your time holding down a salaried job or developing your skills as a footballer (Economist.com) Lost Future Earnings Differ… Middle Class There are economic rewards for putting off kids for a decade or more after sexual maturity Each year of postponement translates into more earnings Wait till mid 30s and likely to earn twice as much as if have kid right out of college Accordingly, pregnancy at 15 is costly Career trumps motherhood… because career opportunities are readily available Poor Maybe not ideal, but they recognize they have limited economic prospects There is little to lose if they don’t time births like MC “Disadvantaged girls who bear children have about the same long term earnings trajectories as similarly disadvantaged youth who wait until their mid or late twenties to have a child”(K&E 2005: 205) Jenck’s Fairy Tale Number #1 Jencks “In an effort to separate the effects of family background from the age at which women became mothers, Arlene Geronimus from the University of Michigan and Sanders Korenman from the University of Minnesota compared sisters raised in the same family. They found that women who had had their first child while they were teenagers ended up only a little poorer than their sisters who had waited.” Lost Future Earnings Differ… Middle Class There are economic rewards for putting off kids for a decade or more after sexual maturity Each year of postponement translates into more earnings Wait till mid 30s and likely to earn twice as much as if have kid right out of college Accordingly, pregnancy at 15 is costly Career trumps motherhood… because career opportunities are readily available Poor Maybe not ideal, but they recognize they have limited economic prospects There is little to lose if they don’t time births like MC “Disadvantaged girls who bear children have about the same long term earnings trajectories as similarly disadvantaged youth who wait until their mid or late twenties to have a child”(K&E 2005: 205) Opportunity costs are low…Jenck’s Fairy Tale Number #1 Motherhood trumps career goals… in part because career opportunities are so stunted Stronger Preferences… Poor women put children ahead of careers, marriage and education… Children put “at the center of their meaning making activity” (K&E 2005: 206) “While middle class women are now reaching new heights of self actualization, poor women are relegated to unstable, poorly paid, often mind-stultifying jobs with little room for advancement. Thus, for the poor, childbearing often rises to the top of the list of potential meaning making activities from mere lack of competition”( K&E 2005: 206) “I’m not going to make any promises I can’t keep.” Given the small opportunity costs, the strong preference for children, and the lack of “marriageable men”…single parent households become more common “Most poor women we spoke with said it is better to have children outside of marriage than to marry foolishly or risk divorce…”(K&E 2005: 207) Pregnancy before marriage becomes a sort of test for male partner… “…poor women consider marriage a luxury- one they desire and home someday to attain, but can live without if they must”(K&E 2005: 210) Fairy Tale #1: If teen mothers simply held off parenthood until their twenties, they would have enough money to raise a family Jencks: “The [Clinton] administration is right when it claims that early childbearing is correlated with subsequent welfare receipt. But everyone knows, or ought to know, that a correlation of this kind is not sufficient to prove causation. Women who have babies as teenagers differ from those who wait in a multitude of other ways, many of which affect their economic prospects.” Interpret and tell me the multitude of ways that women who have babies as teenagers differ that would affect their economic prospects? Now to Jencks… 8. In the Jenck’s article, he writes: Fairy Tale #1: If teen mothers simply held off parenthood until their twenties, they would have enough money to raise a family. Explain why this is a fairy tale, being sure to mention the research by Korenman. Fairy Tale #1: If teen mothers simply held off parenthood until their twenties, they would have enough money to raise a family. From the Jencks Article: “Family background aside, most teen mothers have also had trouble in school. Their grades and test scores have usually been below average, and they are more likely to have been in disciplinary trouble than women who delay motherhood. Many attend schools where below-average students are written off at an early age. Because of these problems, many teenage mothers quit school even before they become pregnant. When a teenager comes from a troubled family, has learned little in school, and has left school without graduating, she is unlikely to be economically self-sufficient no matter how long she delays motherhood.” Fairy Tale #2: If single mothers got married, they wouldn't need welfare. Jencks notes that is commonly argued: “…dropouts with low test scores could stay off welfare if only they would marry before having children.” “Once again the correlation is clear. Women who have a child out of wedlock are at least three times as likely to need welfare as women who have their children while married. But that does not mean two-thirds of unwed welfare recipients could have made themselves self-sufficient by marrying the man who fathered their children.” Why not? Fairy Tale #2: If single mothers got married, they wouldn't need welfare. From the Jencks: “If a would-be mother wants to stay off welfare, she has to find a husband who can pull his weight economically….for marriage to make a mother better off than she would be on welfare, her husband must usually earn at least $12,000 a year. There are not enough men (or jobs) like that to go around. Marrying a man with an unstable work history or low wages is not a good formula for avoiding welfare. These days more than half the women who marry such a man can expect their marriage to end in divorce; and when that happens their exhusbands are unlikely to be either willing or able to pay much child support.” Fairy Tale #3: If teen mothers finished high school before having kids, they could get good jobs. Jencks: “ While high school dropouts with low test scores often found some kind of work, their wages averaged only $5.50 to $6.00 an hour (in 1991 dollars). Nor did their earnings rise as they accumulated more labor market experience. After adjusting for inflation, Burtless found that these women earned only 25 cents an hour more when they were 29 years old than when they were 21. Nor does earning a high school equivalency certificate (technically known as a Certificate of General Educational Development, or simply a "GED") seem to increase their earnings. Recent research shows that high school dropouts with a GED earn no more than those who lack one. Nor does the short-term job training that most states now offer welfare recipients boost their hourly wages--though it does help them find work, so the money is not wasted. Women with low test scores who finish high school on schedule do earn $1 to $1.25 an hour more than those who drop out. Inability of the Labor Market to Support All Families Are the jobs that household head are working at capable of getting a family out of poverty? 9.4% of households were working at jobs in which their earnings could not pull a family out of poverty Should Poor Women be Permitted to Have Babies? Should Poor Women be Permitted to Have Babies? Jencks: “…the problem is that we cannot predict in advance which children might eventually need welfare. Nearly half the children on welfare in any given month were born to parents who were married at the time of their birth, and most of these parents had enough money to scrape by while they were married. If we tried to prevent married couples from having children until we could be sure that they would not need AFDC even if they separated, we would have to regulate the most intimate behavior of millions of married people.” Percent of Americans Who Experience Poverty Across Adulthood By the time they are old, most Americans will experience a spell of poverty Children in Single Mother Families: Percent Poor, 2003… What to do? So what, if anything, is to be done? “Conservatives are acting on the premise that not being married is what makes so many women and children poor. But poor women insist that their poverty is part of what makes marriage so difficult to sustain…How, they ask, can an economically strained marriage hope to survive” (K&E 2005: 218) Chicken or egg… Poverty causes low marriage rates Low marriage rates cause poverty Lessons for Marriage Policy Bush Administration created a “marriage czar” and spent money on “relationship skills training.” Assumption: Problem is not lack of skills or jobs but lack of marriage that creates poverty Solution: Pre-marital counseling designed to teach relationship skills Kefalas and Edin seem to think this can’t hurt, but doubt that it can deal with the problems that plague inner city relationships Infidelity, alcoholism, drug use, violence, incarceration, etc. They argue that the goal should be to improve the quality of the male partners in the marriage pool…address the “problem of marriageability” “Providing more access to stable, living wage employment for both men and women should therefore be a key policy objective” (K&E 2005: 219) What is to be done? Anyone remember what happened to the rate of non-marital child bearing during the period of economic growth of the late 1990s? What is to be done? “During the late 1990s, when America saw several years of unprecedented economic growth and very low unemployment, many of those on the bottom were swept up into the economic mainstream. Most people who wanted a job could suddenly get one, the tight job market moved wages for unskilled workers sharply upward, and for the first time in modern memory, the rate of non-marital childrearing stopped increasing- it even declined somewhat” (E&K 2005: 219) If people see new opportunities for hope or meaning, they may “choose to forgo early childhood…” So…what is to be done… Marriage czar, decent jobs, baby block…Something else? Reflection 1. Describe your feelings about your community activity. Is it what you expected? Is it worthwhile? Why or why not? Reflection 2. Please describe the most fulfilling thing that you have experienced while with the afterschool program. Reflection 3. Please describe the most challenging thing that you have experienced while with the afterschool program. Reflection 4. Are there things that you have learned from the children or others that you work with at Chester Eastside Ministries? If so, what? Reflection 5. What have you learned about yourself from this experience? Have you learned any new skills or developed a new interest? Has the experience challenged or made you question any ideas that you previously held? Reflection 6. Has your community activity helped you learn something new about poverty in America? Has it raised any new questions in your mind?