INSTRUCTIONS: Answer all questions. Make sure each response is double spaced, with one-inch margins, in 12 point Times or Cambria font.
There is no need to reproduce the question at the top of the page or provide a formal introduction—this will take up space you could use for your answer.
Use your own words to explain the different concepts and arguments you reference from authors or other materials that you cite in support of your answers. Do not include direct quotes from readings!
You do not need to provide a reference list for this exam, but you do need to refer to and cite readings to support your answers.No hard copy is needed. All work submitted for this exam must be original and entirely your own.
The page limit for all questions is two pages per question (6 total pages ). This is a strict page limit; your responses must be succinct.
- In your own words, explain McLanahan and Sandefur’s arguments about how growing up with a single parent affects children, and Gerson’s argument about family pathways and how they are different from family structure. Then discuss whether the arguments are in conflict with each other or complementary, clearly stating your reasoning. Finally, discuss how you think a focus on either family structure or family pathways might contribute to different understandings of how best to support children when their parents don’t stay together.
- Since the beginning of the semester we’ve been investigating the relationships between economic trends and family patterns. Based on Cherlin’s Labor’s Love Lost, describe the economic shifts that began in the 1970s and explain how they are related to the growing gaps in family experiences and patterns by social class in U.S. families today described by both Cherlin and Carlson & England. In addition to the general discussion, focus on at least two specific family trends (i.e. marriage, non-marital births, divorce, cohabitation, etc. ). Describe each trend and explain how it is related to economic changes.
- Explain the logic of why policy makers have considered single parenthood to be an issue that requires government intervention in the U.S., and what they have done to address the growing trend of single parent families, drawing on Promises I Can Keep and the readings on Welfare Reform. Finally, discuss how the findings and conclusions of Promises I Can Keep could inform efforts and approaches by policy makers to affect issues associated with the rise in single parenthood. What would help and why? Make sure to support your responses with examples and evidence from the book about connections between marriage and childbearing, and the meaning of motherhood and marriage for poor women.