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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Young, Alford Jr.; Holcomb, Pamela A.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    This report presents ethnographic case studies of eight young, unmarried, low-income fathers who participated in the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers to become financial and emotional supports to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The study examines the nature of the fathers’ relationship with their children and the mother of their children, the fathers’ experiences with the PFF program and with matters related to child support, their views on employment prospects and experiences, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. (author abstract)

    This report presents ethnographic case studies of eight young, unmarried, low-income fathers who participated in the Partners for Fragile Families (PFF) demonstration projects. PFF provided a range of services aimed at increasing the capacity of young, economically disadvantaged fathers to become financial and emotional supports to their children and sought to reduce poverty and welfare dependence. The study examines the nature of the fathers’ relationship with their children and the mother of their children, the fathers’ experiences with the PFF program and with matters related to child support, their views on employment prospects and experiences, and their hopes and aspirations for the future. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roy, Kevin; Burton, Linda
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2007

    We identify and discuss mothers’ early strategies to recruit nonresidential biological fathers, intimate partners, male family members and friends, and paternal kin to support the needs of young children in low-income families. Using the concept of kinscription and longitudinal ethnographic data on 149 African American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White families from Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study, we developed a model of recruitment that includes three related processes: the search for legitimacy with conventional fathers and partners, the consequences of maternal advocacy for intimate relationships, and protection of children and reduction of risks to family well-being. Results indicate that mothers’ co-opting of fathers and father figures to support their children is shaped by men’s immigration status, the tenuous nature of romantic relationships, and fathers’ intergenerational caregiving responsibilities. Implications for theories of coparenting and partner dynamics in low-income families and for policy and programs are discussed. (author abstract)

    We identify and discuss mothers’ early strategies to recruit nonresidential biological fathers, intimate partners, male family members and friends, and paternal kin to support the needs of young children in low-income families. Using the concept of kinscription and longitudinal ethnographic data on 149 African American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White families from Welfare, Children and Families: A Three-City Study, we developed a model of recruitment that includes three related processes: the search for legitimacy with conventional fathers and partners, the consequences of maternal advocacy for intimate relationships, and protection of children and reduction of risks to family well-being. Results indicate that mothers’ co-opting of fathers and father figures to support their children is shaped by men’s immigration status, the tenuous nature of romantic relationships, and fathers’ intergenerational caregiving responsibilities. Implications for theories of coparenting and partner dynamics in low-income families and for policy and programs are discussed. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edin, Kathryn; Nelson, Timothy J.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2013

    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 relationship’s 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-...

    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 relationship’s 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. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Randles, Jennifer M.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    In the 1996 overhaul of federal welfare legislation, Congress included provisions to promote employment, marriage, and responsible fatherhood to prevent poverty among low-income families. Little previous research has focused on how marriage promotion policies construct paternal identity. Drawing on data from an 18-month study of a federally funded relationship skills program for low-income, unmarried parents, I analyze how responsible fatherhood policies attempt to shape ideas of successful fatherhood and masculinity in the service of the government’s pro-marriage, antipoverty agenda. The program promoted a class-specific version of what I call marital masculinity, one that seeks to redefine marriageability for low-income men by claiming that marriage comes before financial success and encourages fathers to earn more. It did this by targeting fathers’ masculine identities in two ways: first, by emasculating fathers who only provide financially for their children, and second, by promoting a highly gendered conception of paternal caregiving. By analyzing how this strategy can be...

    In the 1996 overhaul of federal welfare legislation, Congress included provisions to promote employment, marriage, and responsible fatherhood to prevent poverty among low-income families. Little previous research has focused on how marriage promotion policies construct paternal identity. Drawing on data from an 18-month study of a federally funded relationship skills program for low-income, unmarried parents, I analyze how responsible fatherhood policies attempt to shape ideas of successful fatherhood and masculinity in the service of the government’s pro-marriage, antipoverty agenda. The program promoted a class-specific version of what I call marital masculinity, one that seeks to redefine marriageability for low-income men by claiming that marriage comes before financial success and encourages fathers to earn more. It did this by targeting fathers’ masculine identities in two ways: first, by emasculating fathers who only provide financially for their children, and second, by promoting a highly gendered conception of paternal caregiving. By analyzing how this strategy can be understood as both empowering and controlling for low-income men, this research adds to the sociological literature on how welfare policies shape paternal identity and gendered family practices. (author abstract)