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Unformatted text preview: t;Family, Race, and Poverty in the Eighties."
Maxine Baca Zinn harnesses the structural theory for the prevalence of single-parent
family structure amongst African Americans by assessing the influence of a decline in
opportunity structures as reflected in patterns of employment, marriage, and community
composition. Of primary importance is the identification of deindustrialization as the active
agent in the marginalization of black people in the United States. Cities previously acted as
"opportunity ladders" (Zinn 1989, pg.63) for under-educated workers because of the prevalence
of manufacturing jobs that paid a family wage. The shift away from the production industry,
particularly for automobile, steel and rubber industry employees, marked serious consequences
for blacks because of so-called "structural racism" (Zinn 1989, pg.63). The rise of jobs in the
highly technological global economy that requires extensive education and training has resulted
in a weakened labor force attachment amongst inner-city workers in general and African
Americans in particular (Wilson 1996, pg. 53), which has lead to increased male joblessness and
female-headed households (Zinn 1989, pg.65). It is im...
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- Spring '12