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“The Negro Family” by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan Essay

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Updated: Jan 29th, 2021

Essay 1

The Negro Family was published in the year 1965 (Moynihan 45). Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote this book. Later, the article was identified as the Moynihan Report. In the article, the author suggested that the matriarchal structure of Negro families in America has resulted in disorganization of the black community. He blamed the increase of single parents, unemployment, and imprisonment on this disorganization. In this section, an analysis of Moynihan’s report is provided. The Second Shift, Gender Family Structure Social Structure, and the course materials are utilized in analyzing the report.

Drawing on course readings and lecture notes, construct an argument that evaluates Moynihan’s perspective

In the report, Moynihan highlighted challenges facing the Negro community of the 1960s. The issues included chronic poverty, underemployment, increased rate of crimes, and inequality in housing. The report indicated that access to education and quality health care was a challenge to most Negro families. Moynihan asserted that the number of families run by single mothers was higher among the Negro community compared to the white community.

After reading the report, I noted that the matriarchal structure in the Negro community had increased the social problems stated above. Owing to family disorganization, many children among the black community have not experienced the socialization that a family can offer. Such family structures have not been successful in offering teenagers with emotional needs, discipline, and behaviors essential for character development (Hochschild, Arlie, and Anne 36). For the reason that the disorganized families have not played their role as socializing agencies, they have handicapped youngsters in their associations to the establishments of their culture (Roschelee 316). Furthermore, family disorganizations are responsible for an increase in crime rates and poverty among the black communities.

Moynihan also alleged that the black community was experiencing poverty not because of their genes but due to their culture. He postulated that the absence of nuclear families would significantly deter further development towards financial and political equality among the community members. As such, he indicated that the rise in single parenting was not due to lack of morals but rather their culture. Moynihan suggested that because black males lacked access to employment they could not play significant roles as fathers in their families. Owing to this, the rates of divorce in this community was expected to increase. In the end, the situation would lead to huge surges in the figures of female-headed families. Through this argument, he was able to urge the government to offer more job opportunities to the community to revert on the situation.

His arguments were right based on the time the article was written. During the 1960s, white communities discriminated against the black communities. As such, they did not have equal access to job opportunities, education, and health care. In this respect, Negro men were shying away from their responsibilities as fathers. Following the civil transformations that occurred after the 1960s, the black communities have been given equal access to job opportunities, education, and healthcare. Because of this, the black matriarchal system has reduced among the black communities.

What is intersectionality, and how does it help us better understand the social context of Black families historically and today?

Intersectionality refers to the study of connections between procedures or structures of repression, control, or discrimination. The study offers a vital model for sociology. The concept of intersectionality proposes that distinct systems of repression are molded by one another. For an individual to comprehend the racialization of tyrannized communities, he or she ought to explore the behaviors in which racializing structures are influenced by sex, race, social structure, culture, biogenetics, or class. Intersectionality can help us in comprehending the social context of black families in history and today.

Historically, Negro mothers have usually toiled outside the homestead in huge numbers compared to white mothers. Their absence from home for most of the times has led to family disorganizations. According sociologists, Negro men’s responsibilities have been lessened by the financial freedom of their females. According to Moynihan, Negro women are more financially empowered than their men are. Because of this, matriarchal family structures have become very common in black communities compared to the white population. He suggests that the above has resulted in reversed family roles. The economic liberation of Negro women has put them in a tussle with their inherent biological responsibility than the white women. Therefore, it can be argued that the black matriarchy experienced in the Negro communities in the 1960s was contributed by empowerment of African American women.

The black matriarchy experienced by the African American population in the 1960s went against the social structure and culture of this community. Notably, the matriarchal structures were in contrary to the norms of conventional American societies. The structures did not only impose a crushing burden on Negro male but also on their women. As such, men were expected to provide for their families. However, during the era the number of mothers headed families increased. The above indicated that more men were not fulfilling their responsibilities as fathers.

Essay 2

After the World War II, participation of women in the workforce has increased tremendously. In the year 1948, around 16% of workers were married women. By the year 1985, the percentage had increased to 62% (Blair-loy 689). Between the years 1974 and 1995, it is estimated that women participation in labor increased by 45%. The section below analyses these changes. Cultural Constructions of Family Schemas, Resolving Family Dilemmas and Conflicts, and Council on Contemporary Families Briefing Paper are used in the analysis.

How have changes in women’s employment affected both women’s and men’s time spent in housework and time with children?

The changes in women’s employment have affected families in a number of ways. As such, the time spent in the house and with children has been reduced. In the year 1965, it was estimated that working age men between the age of 18 and 65 years spent 45 hours in a week at their workplaces. The number had reduced to 35 hours in the year 2012. On the contrary, working age women spent an average of 17 hours in the workplace during the year 1965. In the year 2011, the number of hours spent by women at work had risen to 36 hours in a week. Based on the above figures it is apparent that currently men have more time to spend at home compared with women

At home, men are currently expending more hours doing house chores compared to the past. On the other hand, women are currently spending less time at home as than they did in the past. Men’s house chores have increased from five hours per week in 1960s to approximately eight hours per week in the year 2012. On the opposite, women have reduced the time they spent on house chores from 27 hours weekly in the 1960s to 16 hours weekly in the year 2012.

The time spent with children for men has improved over time. In the last decade, the time has increased from 1 hour per week to approximately three hours. For women, the approximate time spent with children has remained constant. The time ranges from seven to eight hours in a week. For the reason that not everyone has children, the approximate time spent with siblings for all is considerably inferior to it is for parents.

How have women and men’s experiences in the workplace contributed to these changes?

Notably, women and men’s experiences in the places of work have influenced the above changes. Unlike in the past, organizational cultures in today’s companies have changed to accommodate more women (Cherlin 35). Trough affirmative action, firms, and institutions were required to allocate women and other members of minority some vacancies during recruitment. By doing so, the percentage of females in the labor force has increased. Similarly, education has equipped women with the much needed skills and knowledge required in the labor industry. Because more females are now working, they have less time to spend with their children or doing household chores.

Because of employment, women have been empowered. Through this, they have earned respect from their male counterparts. The above has made it possible for men and women to share their responsibilities. Contrary to the past, women are no longer viewed as less equal to men in the workplaces and at home. Currently, household chores are shared between males and females. For instance, child rearing is currently considered the responsibility of a husband and a wife.

Drawing on evidence and sociological theory, do you think it is likely that women, men’s family roles, and their involvement with children will become equal in the coming decades? Explain the reasoning behind your predictions.

In future, it is expected that parents will spend more time with their kids. Research indicates that more parents believe that they should allocate more of their time to parenting. As indicated earlier, men are currently spending more time doing house chores and taking care of the children than in the past. Generally, the amount of time women and men devote to their kids continues to increase with each passing year. From the 1960s, men have increased the amount of time they spend with their youngsters (Gerson 180). Because of this, men have taken up household roles initially meant for mothers. In the future, the roles played by both males and females are expected to converge.

In the future, it is expected that women and men’s family roles and their involvement with kids will become equal. As more women join the labor force, they are expected to be empowered. Through this, they will get more respect from their male counterparts. The above also implies that women would be able to contribute more financially to their families because they would be earning adequate monies just like males. Through this, women would play responsibilities initially meant for males in family set up. Therefore, there would be no difference in the roles played by both males and females.

Similarly, future workplaces would be more challenging and demanding for both parents. Thus, parents will be forced to utilize their time properly to balance family and work needs. In such situations, both parents will be required to play similar roles to ensure that their children benefit the most.

Works Cited

Blair-loy, Mary. “Cultural Constructions of Family Schemas: The Case of Women Finance Executives”. Gender & Society 15.5 (2001): 687-709. Print.

Cherlin Andrew. “Council on Contemporary Families Briefing Paper: One Thousand and Forty Nine Reasons Why It’s Hard to Know When a Fact is a Fact”. Gender Issues. 2.1 (2009): 32-34. Print.

Gerson, Kathleen. “Resolving Family Dilemmas and Conflicts: Beyond Utopia”. Contemporary Sociology 29.1 (2000): 180-181. Print.

Hochschild, Arlie Russell, and Anne Machung. The Second Shift. New York, N.Y.: Viking, 1989. Print.

Moynihan, Daniel. The Negro Family. The Case for National Action. New York, N.Y.: Viking 1965. Print.

Roschelee Aington. “Gender family structure, and social structure.” Revisioning gender. 29.1 (1999): 311-340. Print.

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