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The Sociology of an African American Family's Generational Journey

Lois Benjamin

Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Imprint: The University of North Carolina Press
Published: 03/2027
Pages: 190
Subject: Social Science, History
Print ISBN: 9781469678665
eBook ISBN: 9781469678696


In this masterful work of family-focused sociology, Lois Benjamin considers the lives of Pennie and Roscoe James and their children, revealing how a large, close-knit African American family with humble origins in a small town of North Carolina is shaped by the contours of its religious and ethical value system. Despite the challenges of daily experiences, the James elders transmitted values to their children that provided them with the resources to thrive and the resilience to meet adversity. The James children recount their personal, unique perspectives on how faith, familial solidarity, and savvy entrepreneurship led to their continued generational success. Benjamin uses a blend of ethnographic and qualitative methods to place the James family's experiences in broader historical context. In doing so, she shows that the family's values of compassion, empathy, and communitarian and enterprising spirit offer hope in this polarized society.