The Making of a Teenage Service Class: Poverty and Mobility in an American City (Paperback)

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In The Making of a Teenage Service Class, Ranita Ray uncovers the pernicious consequences of focusing on risk behaviors such as drug use, gangs, violence, and teen parenthood as the key to ameliorating poverty. Ray recounts the three years she spent with sixteen poor black and brown youth, documenting their struggles to balance school and work while keeping commitments to family, friends, and lovers. Hunger, homelessness, untreated illnesses, and long hours spent traveling between work, school, and home disrupted their dreams of upward mobility. While families, schools, nonprofit organizations, academics, and policy makers stress risk behaviors in their efforts to end the cycle of poverty, Ray argues that this strategy reinforces class and racial hierarchies and diverts resources that could better support marginalized youth’s efforts to reach their educational and occupational goals.

About the Author

Ranita Ray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Praise For…

"Ray uses . . . details to reveal how deeply life is colored by poverty and how desperately these young people want to believe they can succeed."
— American Journal of Sociology

"Ray provides a refreshing analysis of the challenges facing economically marginalized youth of color. . . . The Making of a Teenage Service Class has significant implications for family scholars, practitioners, and educators. It reminds family scholars and practitioners to pay attention to the intricacy of family dynamics and the importance of not assuming that everyone in a family shares the same experiences, has the same needs or interests, or responds the same way in the face of poverty."
— Journal of Family Theory and Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780520292062
ISBN-10: 0520292065
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Pages: 300
Language: English

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