You Moved Up, Did You Forget Us? The Influence of African American Intra-familial Social Mobility on Extended Family Relationships

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Abstract

This study explored the extent to which changes in socioeconomic status influenced the willingness or ability of extended family members to adhere to family scripts regarding interaction and resource sharing. Ethnographic methodology was utilized to examine the lived experience of the members of one large, extended African American family with its roots in a rural area of North Carolina. The results suggest that interaction is maintained despite changes in socioeconomic status among family members but that the interaction is transformed as one rises in socioeconomic status. The results also suggest that certain levels of ambiguous loss may occur as a result of the changing family relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-232
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of African American Studies
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • African American
  • Ambiguous loss
  • Extended family
  • Family interaction
  • Social mobility

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