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Lost and Found Young Fathers in the Age of Unwed Parenthood

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Lost and Found Young Fathers in the Age of Unwed Parenthood by Florsheim, Paul; Moore, David, 9780190865016
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  • ISBN: 9780190865016 | 0190865016
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2/3/2020
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Over the past six decades, there have been dramatic changes in the dynamics of family life in the United States. Today, about half of all babies born to mothers under the age of 25 will not live with their fathers for much of their childhood. From the perspective of many social scientists and politicians, this change has wreaked havoc on society by trapping women and children in poverty and loosening the civilizing bond between men and their families. But what is causing the phenomenon? Some place blame at the feet of the young men themselves, together with eroding cultural and family values. Others point to systemic failures in our economy or social support programs. Rather than assign blame, the first goal of Lost and Found is to tell the stories of young men as they struggle (with varying degrees of success) to become fathers. The second goal is to outline a strategy for helping young fathers remain constructively involved with their partners and children.

Drawing from their research with over 1,000 young parents in Chicago and Salt Lake City, Paul Florsheim and David Moore focus on a group of about 20 young fathers, whose stories-conveyed in their own words-help the reader make sense of what is happening to fatherhood in America. Having interviewed young fathers and their partners before and after their children were born, these accounts provide a dynamic perspective on the development of young men and their relationships. Young mothers-the partners of these young men-both corroborate and sometimes offer alternative or contradictory perspectives. Oriented to undo stereotypes, the authors introduce the notion of "good-enough" fathering, tempering the tendency to think simply in terms of good or bad fathers. They go on to provide concrete recommendations for strengthening fathers' roles and helping young fathers and mothers create stable home environments for their children, whether the parents are together or not.

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