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Promises I Can Keep : Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage



Pub. Date:
Univ of California Pr

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This is the edition with a publication date of 3/1/2005.
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  • Promises I Can Keep : Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage
    Promises I Can Keep : Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage


Millie Acevedo bore her first child before the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to care for her newborn. Now 27, she is the unmarried mother of three and is raising her kids in one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. Would she and her children be better off if she had waited to have them and had married their father first? Why do so many poor American youth like Millie continue to have children before they can afford to take care of them? Over a span of five years, sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas talked in-depth with 162 low-income single moms like Millie to learn how they think about marriage and family. Promises I Can Keepoffers an intimate look at what marriage and motherhood mean to these women and provides the most extensive on-the-ground study to date of why they put children before marriage despite the daunting challenges they know lie ahead.

Author Biography

Kathryn Edin is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1(26)
1. "Before We Had a Baby..." 27(23)
2. "When I Got Pregnant..." 50(21)
3. How Does the Dream Die? 71(33)
4. What Marriage Means 104(34)
5. Labor of Love 138(30)
6. How Motherhood Changed My Life 168(19)
Conclusion: Making Sense of Single Motherhood 187(34)
Acknowledgments 221(4)
APPENDIX A: City, Neighborhood, and Family Characteristics and Research Methods 225(16)
APPENDIX B: Interview Guide 241(8)
Notes 249(20)
References 269(18)
Index 287

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