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This title in other editions

Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City

by

Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“This warm and often moving book cuts through the rampant stereotypes and misconceptions to give us the most insightful treatment yet of fatherhood in the inner city. Nelson and Edin are to be congratulated.”—Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and former op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

“With a clear-eyed honesty and frankness, Edin and Nelson probe the experiences of fathers among our urban poor, and what they discover is both surprising and hopeful. Edin and Nelson should be applauded for their bold on-the-ground research which pushes us to consider that men whose lives are often marked by disorder having children can often be a stabilizing force. Doing the Best I Can turns many of our assumptions about fatherhood on their head.” —Alex Kotlowitz, author of There Are No Children Here

"Doing the Best I Can will change the way we think about unwed fatherhood in the inner city. The book, based on in-depth interviews with low-income black and white fathers in Camden NJ and Philadelphia, is a real page-turner. Nelson and Edins well-written narratives on the lives of low-income fathers, their role as fathers, and relationships with their children are replete with fresh insights. This compelling book is a must-read."—William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

“I am confident that this book will instantly become the leading source of information on the nature of unwed fatherhood today. It shows a new path of intimate life for unwed young men, suggesting that marriage is no longer central in low-income young adults intimate partnerships. It will be an eye-opener, a detailed portrait we have not seen before.”—Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University

“This book smashes the stereotype of poor dads as the ‘hit and run or ‘deadbeat men who care only about casual sex and have no interest in the resulting kids. It is also unflinchingly honest about the sometimes egregious behavior of the men. Its poignant narratives and astute analysis make it the book to read on poor fathers.”—Paula England, New York University

 

Synopsis:

Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as “deadbeat dads.” Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationships demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father-child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral.

Drawing on years of fieldwork, Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. Intimate interviews with more than 100 fathers make real the significant obstacles faced by low-income men at every step in the familial process: from the difficulties of romantic relationships, to decision-making dilemmas at conception, to the often celebratory moment of birth, and finally to the hardships that accompany the early years of the child's life, and beyond.

About the Author

Kathryn Edin is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Kennedy School of Government and a Faculty Affiliate with the Sociology Department at Harvard University. She is the coauthor of Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage and Making Ends Meet: How Low Income Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low Wage Work.

Timothy Nelson is Lecturer in Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is the author of Every Time I Feel the Spirit: Religious Experience and Ritual in an African American Church.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. One Thing Leads to Another

2. Thank You, Jesus

3. The Stupid Shit

4. Ward Cleaver

5. Sesame Street Mornings

6. Fight or Flight

7. Try, Try Again

8. The New Package Deal

Appendix

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520274068
Author:
Edin, Kathryn
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
Nelson, Timothy J.
Author:
Nelson, Timothy Jon
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Recovery and Addiction - Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Subject:
Sociology-Urban Studies
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Subject:
Sociology-Children and Family
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 b/w photographs, 1 map, 9 tables
Pages:
294
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1 in

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Mens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City New Hardcover
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Product details 294 pages University of California Press - English 9780520274068 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as “deadbeat dads.” Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationships demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father-child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral.

Drawing on years of fieldwork, Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. Intimate interviews with more than 100 fathers make real the significant obstacles faced by low-income men at every step in the familial process: from the difficulties of romantic relationships, to decision-making dilemmas at conception, to the often celebratory moment of birth, and finally to the hardships that accompany the early years of the child's life, and beyond.

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