Complex Ethnic Households in America / Edition 1

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What commonalities link Navajos in their vast Arizona reservation and rural whites in upstate New York? More than you would suspect when both live in complex households that include people other than nuclear kin. This groundbreaking interdisciplinary book on complex households in six U.S. ethnic groups-Navajos, whites, Inupiat of Alaska, African Americans in urban coastal Virginia, Korean immigrants in New York City, and Latino immigrants in central Virginia-uniquely combines rich ethnographic descriptions with theory-linked overviews and Census 2000 data. It explores interactions of household structure, ethnicity, and gender, while illuminating factors affecting the formation and dissolution of complex households, which are becoming increasingly important as ethnic diversity increases throughout the United States.
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Editorial Reviews

This book is both important and topical. Highly recommended.
Sharon Hays
This important book opens the door to a rarely studied social world:complex households among six American ethnic groups. Its unique combination of fascinating ethnographies linked to census data on national and local family patterns introduces us to people who live in households very different from Ozzie and Harriet, and illuminates the rich complexity of multifaceted families at the intersections of ethnicity, gender, and domicile. This innovative text will be useful for a wide range of fields: sociology, demography, anthropology, ethnic studies, family studies, gender studies, and research methods.
Randall Collins
Households containing non-nuclear members are becoming increasingly common, and if current trends hold, represent a significant shift in household and family relations in twenty-first century America. This important book gives an in-depth view of how these complex households vary across ethnic groups, illustrating the mosaic of patterns that is changing American society.
November 2008 American Journal of Sociology
Unique... this volume should command the attention of family researchers, particularly those of a qualitative nature, for its unique concentration on comparison.
Contemporary Sociology
This is a gem of a book. It not only makes a significant contribution to scholarship, but is enjoyable to read.
With its unusual combination of ethnography, demography, and theoretical insights, the book would be useful in a variety of courses—including ethnic studies, anthropology, demography, and especially, the sociology of the family. Further, it contains an important message for social scientists, policy makers, and others who take it for granted that census bureau classifications of household and family structure and relationships are hard, objective data, valid for the entire population.
This book is both important and topical. Highly recommended.
Journal Of Official Statistics
This book is an important contribution to the fields of ethnic, gender, and family studies. [It] is a beautiful demonstration of an inherent problem in social research. ..the clash between the researcher's conceptualizations and the subjects' worldviews...[It] will teach the reader much more than just complex household formation. It is also a colorful and effective lesson on field research and techniques... A solid piece of work that teaches a lot about household formation at the beginning of the 21st century.
International Journal Of Multicultural Education
The book is a must-read for multicultural educators and scholars who work with and desire to gain in-depth understanding of the particular ethnic populations in and outside the studied communities. This book would also be particularly helpful to social scientists who are interested in combining census and ethnographic data in a meaningful cultural analysis of ethnic communities.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742546370
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/2/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.86 (w) x 8.86 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurel Schwede is a research social scientist in the Statistical Research Division at the U.S. Census Bureau. Rae Lesser Blumberg is the William R. Kenan, Jr. professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. Anna Y. Chan is a research social scientist in the Statistical Research Division at the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Table of Contents

1 The way we live : complex ethnic households in America 1
2 The first arrivals : Navajo and Inupiaq Eskimos 21
3 I live here and I stay there : Navajo perceptions of households on the reservation 39
4 Household adaptive strategies among the Inupiat 94
5 The recent arrivals : Latinos and Koreans 116
6 Household structure and its social and economic functions among Korean American immigrants in Queens, New York : an ethnographic study 126
7 Making ends meet : the complex household as a temporary survival strategy among new Latino immigrants to Virginia 149
8 African Americans and whites 181
9 African American households in transition : structure, culture, and self-definition 196
10 Not the typical household : whites in rural New York 217
11 Gender, economy, and kinship in complex households among six U.S. ethnic groups : who benefits? whose kin? who cares? 248
12 Who lives here? : complex ethnic households in America 280
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