The Role Of Role Flexibility Among African American Families Essay

The Role Of Role Flexibility Among African American Families Essay

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The two ethnic groups that the writer decided to observe are Italians and African- Americans’ families. In African-American families, the mother sometimes plays the role of the father and thus functions as the head of the family. This was the case of the family the writer observed. In addition, older children sometimes function as parents or caretakers for younger children. The concept of role flexibility among African-American families can be extended to include the parental role assumed by grandfather, grandmother, aunts, and cousins (Boyd-Franklin, 1989).
On the contrary, in the Italian American culture, family values are the focus of Italian society and the Italian family has remained a very close social unit. Whether married, single, or divorced, all Italians tend to maintain very strong links with their parents, adult children, and other relatives. Often generations share housing; grown children or elderly parents may live with each other. Even if they do not share a home, extended families may eat lunch (pranzo) or dinner (cena) together every day. Elderly parents are respected and looked after, sometimes on a daily basis, whether they live at home with their children or independently.
Comparisons and Contrasts of African Americans’ and Italian Americans’ Families
In the past the African-American and Italian American husbands would go out and work, while the wives stayed home, bear a house full of loving children and keep house. The moms were housewives and homemakers who took care of the family. The husbands were the men of the houses who did hard labor to support the family. Women did the domestic work and the men did the dirty work. In some families these customs have not changed. Dads continue to be the breadwinner wh...


... middle of paper ...


...are the same.
Italian and African-Americans each keep very strong religious beliefs. The only difference is that the Italians have Mass, confessionals, and the Pope. Other than that they both share the same God. Religion is universal in for them. It is part of what gives them such solid family values. A family that prays together, stays together is what they live by.
Stereotypes
Not only are Italian and African-Americans similar when it comes to family, food, and faith, they are also the source of several similar stereotypes.
Italians and African-Americans are typically stereotyped as gangsters. Italian Americans are known to have the Mob Boss, and then the African-Americans are known to have the drug lord. Whenever these two groups of people made money, everyone assumed that it was illegal. People figured that they were always a part of some organized crime team.


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