Monday, December 11, 2017

Final Final Blog Post

I grew up without a father and a mother who worked constantly. My three siblings and I were forced to grow up at a young age and learned to fend for ourselves. My oldest brother was obligated to be the “man” of the house. Eventually, the pressure got to him and he cracked. He was only 14 years old when he turned to drugs as a coping mechanism. Having to see my brother do drugs, getting arrested and being aggressive really put a toll on my siblings, especially me. I didn't have a father to cry to when my brother was mean to me. I didn't have anyone.

I developed severe depression while my brother was a delinquent and my oher siblings suffered too. My sister is severely attached to my mother and my little brother has social problems. So, I know what it's like to not have a dad. I've seen many terrible things growing up. Sometimes I wonder if things would be different if my father never left.

It's important for people to be aware of the effects one faces if they grow up without a dad. Most of you guys probably don't even think twice when you go to your friends house and there isn't a dad. Have you ever wondered if it hurts your friend? I know most of us don't really talk about it, but we should! Nobody should be alone.

If you google “fatherless children” not much comes up. You might find some boring sociological articles, but not much media. There are several memes that portray sad children but those aren't all that realistic. I'm sure not many people actually know that growing up without a dad can severely damage the children. That's why it is so important for me to stress the awareness of this topic. Scholarly research has a little more to say on this topic. Leah East wrote an article titled “Mens Construction of Mothering: Growing Up In Father-Absent Families.” Her study was qualitative and had 21 participants, all adult males. She interviewed these men on what it was like to grow up without a father. Her findings revealed that:

  • Memories of lossed and missed opportunities
  • Poverty and disadvantage
  • Ongoing sense of loss
  • Mom working all the time
  • Stress from economic hardship
  • Emotional distance with mom and siblings
  • Mom was too exhausted to provide emotional support
Lauren C Porter also wrote an article on absent fathers. Laurens article was titled “Absent Fathers or Absent Variables? A New Look at Paternal Incarceration And Children's Delinquency.” Children of incarcerated fathers were compared to The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent health. There was a comparison group  of respondents who will have a father incarcerated in the future. She studied the effects of children who have a father in jail. Laurens findings contained that:
  • Separation from a parent leads to less supervision
  • Half of inmates have previously lived with their child
  • Children with an incarcerated father have higher chances of being a delinquent
  • Has a greater effect on boys
  • Decrease in school attendance
Daphne C. Hernandez studied boomerang dads in her article titled “The Role of Boomerang Fathers in Adolescent Female Depression.” Daphne used secondary data from The National Longitudinal Survey of youth and had a sample of 12,686 men and women from 14-22 years old. A boomerang dad is a father who goes in and out of the house. They don't live with the children but they aren't completely out of the child's life. Findings suggest that:
  • Boomerang dads are better than being completely absent
  • Females experience increase rate of depression
  • Males experience increased rate of aggression
  • Family instability leads to increased rates of substance abuse & suicide ideation
  • Children are more likely to act out for attention
Obviously children suffer from not having a father at home. Having a dad that comes in and out of your life is better than not having one at all. So dads, start being in your child's life! Children need their father. It is very difficult to grow up without a father, especially for guys. It's important to know these effects mentioned from the findings of the articles. Fatherless children express the effects differently, but they are all being affected. These children are our future, we should start treating them like it.

The topic of fatherless children is important. Several people have researched it, but its stuck inside the sociological and psychological world. It's time to bring it to the public and away from the academia. The more aware people become, the more we can help these kids. More youth programs can be created and more family support. Nothing is better than having family support. Once families are aware that there kid is acting out or is depressed is because they don't have a father, the more help and support the child will get. So, spread the word, make fatherless children known in the public world.

East, Leah BN., Marie Hutchinson, tamara Power, and Debra Jackson, 2017. “Men's Constructions of
Mothering: Growing Up in Father Absent Families.” International Journal of Men's Health
16(1): 37-48.

Hernandez, Daphne C., Emily Pressler and Cassandra Dorius. 2016. “The Role of Boomerang
Fathers in Adolescent Female Depression.” Journal of Marriage and Family6(5): 1285-

Porter, Lauren C. and Ryan King. 2015. “Absent Fathers or Absent Variables? A New Look At
Paternal Incarceration and Delinquency” Journal Of Research In Crime and Delinquency 52(3):

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Final Blog Post

For all those out there who don't know what public sociology is, pay close attention! Public sociology is all about expanding the disciplinary boundaries of sociology in order to engage with non-academic audiences. I other words, it means bringing the information to the public in ways that is appealing and understanding.

This is why it is important for social scientist to connect with the public audience. We want to know what is going on too! If social research is accessible then it make social change much easier. The knowledge needs to be spread around and brought to the public. Although we may not be social researchers, it is still important to have the overview of the up to date research. 

Social scientist don't have to necessarily practice their research in a public sociological way, but transfer it into public sociology. A scientist can perform their research in whatever way they would like to, but as long as it is transferred to the public in an understanding way. It is important for us as the public to know the current research. It should not be kept in article or books that nobody will read because of the length or the language. 

The senior seminar that is now coming to an end was super efficient. I learned how to conduct my own research (hypothetically), learn how to write a blog and I had fun! This class was useful, it gave me the tools to go out in the world and be able to perform my own research. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

How does the mass imprisonment of fathers effect their own children's educational outcomes?

How does the mass imprisonment of fathers effect their own children's educational outcomes? The National Longitudinal Study if Adolescent Health and collections of educational data from school transcripts were used to assess the effects that incarcerated fathers had on their child's performance in school. Children grades 7-12 were sampled within 132 US schools. The findings suggest that incarceration of parents are negatively and significantly associated with educational attainment of children. If a child has a parent in prison, they are more likely to perform negatively in school. These children experience limited access to academic accomplishment. They are less likely to give effort if they feel like they have no one, no one is there to care or support them. It is important for teachers and school faculties to know acknowledge these effects. If a teacher is aware of this, they can then proceed in giving the child extra help and more sincere attention. Everyone should be aware of this, not just teachers. If a community knows why a child is suffering and is in need of love and support, the child will have a higher chance at succeeding. The more knowledge people have of why people do what they do, the better the world would be. It leads to a better understanding and more accepting world!

Hagan, John and Holly Foster. 2012. "Inter-generational Educational Effects of Mass Imprisonment            in America."Sociology of Education 85(3): 259-286.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Psychological Effects Of Growing Up Without A Father

After doing extensive research, I have discovered that the effects of absent fathers in children lives is detrimental. The approach that was taken was not a sociological one, but a psychological one. A sociological perspective would dig deeper into the effects of the general population. It would estimate the damage done and put it in terms to better understand why a father might be absent. The articles that were found focused more on the individual children and how they react. A sociological perspective would aim more towards the reasoning. For example, a father might have left due to a prison sentence, bad relations with the Childs mother, addictions, divorce and many more reasons. These reasons are the sociological perspective of father absence. 

According to psychology, there are numerous psychological effects of an absent father. Besides the sociological perspective, the psychological perspective has a different focus. It focus's on how the child reacts. The child may suffer and has a greater chance of suffering from a father not being in their lives, especially boys. These effects may be injurious and long lasting. Some suffer for the rest of their lives.

There has been research done by psychologist that studies these effects. Children are more likely to be aggressive, be depressed, have low self-esteem, do poorly in school, more likely to use drugs and more likely to end up incarcerated or commit suicide. The research shows numerous negative effects on the children. According to Sara McLanahan in The Causal Effects Of Father Absence, " studies that compare parental death and divorce often find that even if both have significant effects on well-being, the estimates of the effect of divorce are larger than those of parental death." An absent father has a huge effect on a Childs life weather or not people realize it. 

Research still continues to answer the questions of the importance of a father. "Why can't we grow up without a father and not have any problems?" "Where can these kids find the strength and the help to push through?" The perspective of the children are being represented. The children are the ones suffering and the ones who become psychologically damaged. 

By having an absent father, it has taught me a lot. Life is not fair and it will never be. We have to work with what we got and make the best of it. If we dwell on the pastt and all the negative things going on in our lives, then we will get nowhere. There is no guarantees in life. Who knows if we will achieve greatness or if we will even find love. All we really know and all we really have is ourselves. We have to believe in ourselves and believe we can do anything we put our mind to. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

After reading the articles from some sociologist and a journalist, my thoughts were all over the place. In a way, I kind of agreed with all of them. 

Beginning with Patricia Hill Collins, she talks about two different strategies of intellectual activism and explains that both are important for building communities. She has an insight that not every sociologist has. She is a black feminist. She did not only give insight on race and gender but she discussed class and sexuality. There are disadvantages in many categories but she is a fine example of a black women who proved that anyone can be successful. 

Next, Orlando Patterson critiqued the world of sociology. He explained how there is a neglect in showing the importance of culture and those who are less advantaged. Orlando made three points on culture and public policy from his recent work on black youth. (1) Culture is not immutable. History of change in America shows that cultural values, norms, beliefs, and habitual practices may be easier to change than structural ones. (2) "Culture of elites and policy makers is just as important in understanding the reproduction of poverty as the cultures of the poor themselves." (3) Black people as well as others usually are not offended to change their culture if they are persuaded that it is in their best interest.

In the third article, Fabio Rojas explains how academia and activism don't mix. He made several good points about how academia is built for scholarship. Activism is about promoting social change and academia is knowledge. 

Nathan Jurgenson suggests "how academics 'can' become relevant." The first point is about how academic work should not have a price on it. This just makes it a lot more difficult for people to access. He believes in "accessibility by availability." The other point he made was "accessible by design." basically saying that ideas should be expressed so everyone can understand it and be interested in it. 

Lastly,Karen Sternheimer discusses "the promise and perils" of working with journalists. The goal is to share sociological perspectives and research on current issues with the public. One of her main points is getting the facts rather than an opinion of a sociologist. Facts are credible. 

There are several roadblocks as stated earlier. Nathan Jurgenson has a good point for getting rid of roadblocks. Make it more accessible by making it cheaper or free and making it interesting to read. Orlando Patterson and Patricia Hill Collins both agree that race, gender and status are a huge road block for many people. They experience less opportunity to be able to pursue things in their lives. 
Social sciences should influence public debate. People should understand the challenges and roadblocks that others actually face. Like Orlando Patterson mentioned, having the elites be aware of poverty is important. 

In my opinion, everyone should be sociologically mindful. Being aware that society is dynamic and fluid is important because we are all apart of it.understanding how humans interact is very important in order to allow change to happen. Patricia Hill Collins article stuck out the most to me. I am a feminist as well and she is inspiring. She gives people hope to fight for what they want. 

I believe that it is kind of sad that this is a debate being held by people with PhD's. This should not even be a debate. Race, gender, sex and class should not matter. But it does and the fight needs to start somewhere.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Sociology, to me, began with psychology. I am a big psychology fan and it is what I seem to draw to. With psychology usually only pertaining to one person, the individual. Sociology is more groups of people like trends or demographics. Sociology is more about groups as a whole and psychology is simply the individual within the society. Sociology and psychology both lead to the sociological perspective. The sociological perspective is human behavior and its connection to society as a whole. There are connections between one's behaviors and the society they live in. Each society has their own sociological perspective because of the differences each society claims as their norms.
Society can be extremely useful in terms of grouping and understanding ourselves as well as other people. It makes in easier to talk about groups of people and their behaviors. Sociology allows us to learn about each other which can create opportunities to help one another. It gives us the understanding of why people do what they do.The benefits of the sociological perspective are that it helps us to recognize the diversity humans have and to allows for the understanding of the challenges of living in a diverse world. Also, the sociological standpoint allows us to have a better understanding of ourselves. Understanding ourselves is the gateway to understanding everyone else.
Sociology can be used in so many different ways other than in the classroom. Sociology helps develop one's appreciation of diversity and knowledge base about human behavior, culture, and social change. It helps us look more objectively at our society and other societies.