This book provides students with a systematic sociological study of contemporary life for families of African descent living in the United States. Because it deals with issues facing African American families, it covers ground that is often considered, such as marriage and fertility rates, n-marital births, age at first birth, etc., but the authors also deal with several issues slighted or igred in texts about African American family life, including disproportionately high rates of incarceration, family violence, and chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Also departing from previous books, the authors examine ways in which individual choice (e.g., choosing to use drugs, choosing to engage in unprotected sex, choosing to drop out of school) intersects with the larger societal factors and constraints. All these indices are woven together and cry out foraa new look at African American family situations that this book will provide. The authors hope to capture the complexities and nuances of a web of factors, thereby helping students explore both structural and individual explanations for problems facing many African American families today.
Angela J. Hattery, PhD holds the Zachary T. Smith Reynolds Associate Professorship in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at Wake Forest University. She completed her B.A. at Carleton College and her M.S. and PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the faculty of Wake Forest in 1998. Her research focuses on social stratification, gender, family, and race. She is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and books, including another Sage book: Women, Work, and Family: Balancing and Weaving (2001). Her forthcoming book Violence in Intimate Partner Relationships will appear in 2007. Earl Smith, PhD, is Professor of Sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies at Wake Forest University. He is the Director of the Wake Forest University American Ethnic Studies Program. Dr. Smith is the former Chairperson of the Department of Sociology, Wake Forest University, from 1997-2005. Prior to his appointment at Wake Forest University, Professor Smith was the Dean, Division of Social Science at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) in Tacoma, Washington. He also served as Chairperson of the Department of Sociology at PLU. Professor Smith has numerous publications (books, articles, book chapters etc) in the area of professions, social stratification, family, urban sociology, and has published extensively in the area of the sociology of sport. His most recent book, Race, Sport and the American Dream will be published by Carolina Academic Press in the autumn of 2006.