Winner of the 2017 Race, Gender, and Class Section Book Award from the American Sociological Association Popular discussions of professional women often dwell on the conflicts faced by the woman who attempts to “have it all,” raising children while climbing up the corporate ladder. Yet for all the articles and books written on this subject, there has been little work thatWinner of the 2017 Race, Gender, and Class Section Book Award from the American Sociological Association Popular discussions of professional women often dwell on the conflicts faced by the woman who attempts to “have it all,” raising children while climbing up the corporate ladder. Yet for all the articles and books written on this subject, there has been little work that focuses on the experience of African American professional women or asks how their perspectives on work-family balance might be unique. Raising the Race is the first scholarly book to examine how black, married career women juggle their relationships with their extended and nuclear families, the expectations of the black community, and their desires to raise healthy, independent children. Drawing from extensive interviews with twenty-three Atlanta-based professional women who left or modified careers as attorneys, physicians, executives, and administrators, anthropologist Riché J. Daniel Barnes found that their decisions were deeply rooted in an awareness of black women’s historical struggles. Departing from the possessive individualistic discourse of “having it all,” the women profiled here think beyond their own situation—considering ways their decisions might help the entire black community. Giving a voice to women whose perspectives have been underrepresented in debates about work-family balance, Barnes’s profiles enable us to perceive these women as fully fledged individuals, each with her own concerns and priorities. Yet Barnes is also able to locate many common themes from these black women’s experiences, and uses them to propose policy initiatives that would improve the work and family lives of all Americans....
|Title||:||Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community|
|Number of Pages||:||248 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Raising the Race: Black Career Women Redefine Marriage, Motherhood, and Community Reviews
Barnes uses qualitative research to look at how professional Black women develop strategic mothering that reflects their class status. Unlike earlier generation, these women are married to men who can support the family. However, since they are raised to be independent and not to be dependent on men, they struggle to adjust. Yet, the reason for leaving the workplace or modifying their hours is about child care. Traditionally Black middle class families depended on extended families for help with child rearing. Yet, these upper middle class families, some relocated to Atlanta for education or work, find themselves resolving the childcare dilemma by women reducing work commitments. However, most are not just home raising children, but joining the ranks of people in non-standard work as they enter real estate, consulting, aid their husband’s business and other entrepreneurial pursuits making them modified stay at home moms or flexible career women. Standard employment provides health insurance, so women work out arrangements to insure coverage for the family, especially if husbands are building independent businesses. Interesting reading and provides insights about the neo-politics of respectability that means making marriage and children a major focus of their lives to challenge stereotypes about Black women. As they select neighborhoods and schools for their children, the women engage in a concerted cultivation not aimed at assimilation, but grounded in cultural heritage and pride in Blackness. They want their children to be authentically Black to other Black Americans and not “ghetto” or “hood” to White Americans, yet goals are complicated by old and new residential and educational segregation. At a time when people are debating about post-racism, this study makes it clear how racism is always in the background of people’s thinking. These women face these difficult times bearing the responsibility of presenting themselves as acceptable Black ladies and cultivating the next generation.
This is a sociological study -- I can't recall if I've ever read a book like it before -- and as such the author leaves her opinions mostly out of it until the conclusion, when I was grateful to hear her finally address some of the concerns I'd had throughout the book, namely: how are these women going to avoid the fate of white women and their own continued oppression by patriarchal structures? In their efforts to be great career women, wives, and mothers, how will their outcome be different, and are they aware of that pitfall?"I see these women as attempting to develop communal salvation in response to the continued and devastating effects of racism, classism, and sexism in the Black community. Nevertheless, they do not realize that this cultural model, the neo-politics of respectability, . . . is also complicit in that very process." pg. 174Reading this as a white, middle-class person, I learned a lot about the perspectives of Black women (this book focuses on those who are pretty well-off; that in itself was a new perspective for me) and the choices they make.
305.48 B2615 2016