Deadbeat Dads or Fatherhood in Poverty?
The notion of fatherhood has taken on several connotations in the battles over welfare reform since the 1960s. Fathers who failed to contribute to the family’s well-being were first described as absent, then as deadbeat. The latter term recognizes that some of these fathers are simply dead broke, and only infrequently possess the financial capacity to aid their children. Yet despite ongoing, heavily politicized debates over the role of fathers and the importance of marriage in poor communities, we know very little about how these men view their circumstances and responsibilities toward their families.
KeywordsChild Support Welfare Reform Russell Sage Foundation Nonresident Father African American Father
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