The status of husband/father as perceived by the wife/mother in the intact lower‐class urban black family

Bernice Mcnair Barnett, Ira E. Robinson, Wilfred C. Bailey, John M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Most of the literature on black family life focuses on the problems of female‐headed families and overlooks the fact that the majority of all lower‐class black families have both husband/father as well as wife/mother present. The role of husband/father in the lower‐class black family has been essentially ignored. A sample of black women from intact families living in a predominantly low‐income neighborhood near the city limits of a large southern city were interviewed concerning their general outlook and attitudes about family life and future, or self‐determination, and their perception of the husband/ father's roles as provider, parent, and decision maker. The findings show that (1) the black husband/fathers have not abdicated their positions in the intact family, (2) they do perform a position function, and (3) the intact lower‐class urban family basically prescribes to the same middle‐class values of the larger American society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-441
JournalSociological Spectrum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984


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