Safe Spaces for Vulnerability: New Perspectives on African Americans Who Struggle To Be Good Fathers (Chapter 10 in Boys and Men in African American Families).

Page Count
11
Year Published
2016
Author (Individual)
Young, Alford.
Resource Type
Book
Resource Format
PDF
In this chapter, I argue that scholars, social service providers, policy makers, and others who critically engage the topic of African American fatherhood, must attend to two concepts that highlight under-treated dimensions of that role: vulnerability and safe space. Vulnerability, a product of anxiety, uncertainty, and unfamiliarity, is a condition affecting many socio-economically disadvantaged African American fathers. These men also function without access to safe space, or public and/or institutionalized space that would allow them the opportunity to better realize, express, and address their vulnerability as men, and as fathers in particular. The absence of such safe space is a consequence of the transformation of urban communities since the age of the so-called underclass. Hence, through the review of a case study and findings in other research, this chapter highlights how and why a critical focus on vulnerability in African American fatherhood and the utility of safe spaces for addressing it can advance the scholarly and policy agenda for this social role. (Author abstract)

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