Promises Kept

Promises Kept
To whom it may concern please provide a sociological analysis of this text. The following questions serve as guidelines for your response paper. It is imperative that you incorporate specific examples from the text. However, brief mention of characters or incidents is all that is needed. When reference is made to the text, please include the page number where that information can be found, in parentheses at the end of the sentence.

Part I:
There are many harsh critics of the state of the American family. For instance, one prominent sociologist, David Popenoe, contends that the American family is in decline. Many of the harshest critics blame the welfare state and AFDC/TANF for discouraging marriage and encouraging illegitimacy. Others who take a ?marital decline? perspective argue that the breakdown in the American family is directly responsible for increasing juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, school failure, etc. Having read Promises I Can Keep, comment on the following:

1. In contrast to the thoughts articulated above, Edin and Kefalas have suggested that a desire to ?live off the government? is not what discourages marriage and motivates early childbearing. What other social, economic, educational, cultural, familial factors explain why poor women put motherhood before marriage?
2. From a symbolic interactionist perspective, a changing definition of marriage is also included in the reasons that poor women put motherhood before marriage, according to the authors. In fact, they state, ??while the practical significance of marriage has diminished, its symbolic significance has grown?? (201). What do they mean? Has the redefinition of marriage help or hurt the institution?
3. In what ways does class influence parenting styles?
4. While much of the emphasis is on blaming young mothers for poor decision making, what role do men play in the trend towards single-parent, female-headed households?
5. There is widespread disparagement of unmarried mothers, especially when they are poor. In reading their stories in this text, what resiliencies/strengths did these women display that refute this image?
6. What interventions would you suggest to ?strengthen? American families? (Consider both women and men in this response.)

Part II:
Find two articles which present different interventions for teen pregnancy. Based on what the authors have presented in this text, do these interventions hold significant promise in limiting teen pregnancy or do they overlook critical aspects/causes of the problem that would inhibit their chances for success? What do you think the author’s response to these interventions would be?


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